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The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday denied the latest appeal of death row inmate Marco Torres Jr., who was sentenced to death in 2009 for killing two Grand Island men.

Torres was convicted of first-degree murder in the killings of roommates Timothy Donohue, 48, and Edward Hall, 60, in March 2007.

Torres and Donohue were involved in drug trafficking together, according to the Supreme Court's order.

Grand Island police found Donohue and Hall's bodies on March 5, 2007. Hall was bound, gagged and shot at close range, and Donohue was shot in the head and chest.

In 2009, a jury convicted Torres, whose DNA was at the crime scene and who had used Hall's debit card two days before his body was found.

His first appeal was denied by the Supreme Court in 2012, and Torres filed for post-conviction relief the next year.

He claimed he had ineffective counsel because his attorney did not call certain witnesses at trial and allowed the home where the men were killed to be destroyed, among other contentions.

Hall's home was destroyed in a firefighting exercise shortly after the murders, according to the Supreme Court ruling. Torres alleged that constituted prosecutorial misconduct.

The state isn't required to preserve the home, the justices said. And Torres' attorney's decision not to inspect the house wasn't unreasonable because he was able to look at photos of the crime scene and evidence.

His lawyer's decision not to call witnesses at trial to testify about the robbery and kidnapping of another drug associate was a reasonable trial strategy, the court said.

Torres is one of 10 men on death row at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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Reporter

Riley Johnson reports on local government in Lincoln.

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