Court upholds death row inmate's sentence

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal appeals court has upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of a Bixby woman during a multi-state crime spree.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday in the case of Steven Ray Thacker, who was sentenced to death for the December 1999 death of 25-year-old Laci Dawn Hill.

Officials say Hill was abducted from her home and raped before she was fatally stabbed. Her body was found in rural Mayes County.

Thacker was also convicted and sentenced to death in Tennessee for the Jan. 2, 2000, killing of a tow truck driver. He was sentenced to life in prison for the fatal stabbing of a Missouri man on Jan. 1, 2000.

Federal public defenders representing Thacker declined comment.

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