Condemned killer Elroy Tillman, the senior resident of Utah's death row, has lost his latest appeal.
U.S. District Judge Dee Benson this week adopted "in its entirety" a federal magistrate's order denying Tillman's petition for a writ of habeas corpus.Tillman, 63, was sentenced to death for the May 26, 1982, murder of Mark Allen Schoenfeld, who at that time was dating Tillman's ex-girlfriend. According to testimony at the trial, Tillman bludgeoned Schoenfeld on the head with an ax as he slept and then set fire to his bed.
His previous appeals have been denied by the 3rd District Court, Utah Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Late last year, U.S. Magistrate Ronald Boyce rejected all eight of Tillman's latest claims, including trial error and defects in Utah's capital murder statute.
In upholding Boyce's order, Benson wrote, "The magistrate's report and recommendation requires little if any amplification or elucidation. The court finds no legal merit in any of the petitioner's objections."
Tillman's appeals now move to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.