Death Sentence for Melson Upheld in Gadsden Case

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GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) -- An Alabama death row inmate has lost another appeal nearly two decades after three employees at a Gadsden fast food restaurant were gunned down during a robbery.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late last week upheld the conviction and death sentence of 41-year-old Robert Melson. The judges said in the opinion that Melson's appeal was filed after the deadline.

THE employees of the Popeye's Famous Fried Chicken restaurant were found shot to death in a walk-in freezer on April 16, 1994. A fourth was shot four times and left for dead.

Melson and Cuhuatemoc Peraita, were arrested and charged with capital murder less than an hour after the lone survivor called police.

Melson claims his attorneys have not adequately represented him.