Texas death row inmate dies after diagnosed with COVID

State & Regional

This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Jorge Villanueva, a Texas death row inmate who had been convicted of raping, beating and strangling a 77-year-old woman at her Houston home nearly 27 years ago. Villanueva, who had been dealing with health issues, has died after having been diagnosed with COVID-19, his attorney said Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice photo via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — An attorney says a Texas death row inmate who had been convicted of raping, beating and strangling a 77-year-old woman at her Houston home nearly 27 years ago and who had been dealing with health issues has died after having been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Jeremy Schepers, one of his lawyers for Jorge Villanueva, said Tuesday the 66-year-old inmate had been receiving treatment for liver cancer when he recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jeremy Desel says Villanueva died on Saturday. Schepers says hospital records “indicate COVID-19 is the presumed, but as of yet unconfirmed, cause of death.”

Villanueva was convicted of the August 1994 slaying of Maria Jova Montiel.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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