LITTLE ROCK — A man convicted and sentenced to execution in the 1986 slayings of a man and woman in Ash Flat has lost an appeal before the Arkansas Supreme Court.
The court on Thursday turned away arguments by 64-year-old Steven Victor Wertz that he had ineffective counsel during his trial.
The killings of Terry Watts and Kathy Watts went unsolved for a decade, until a Sharp County detective interviewed an ex-wife of Wertz's and another woman, who provided enough information to charge Wertz.
The Wattses were in a custody dispute with Wertz's ex-wife at the time of the killings. Wertz was arrested in 2006 and convicted a year later.
In a dissent, Special Justice Andrew Fulkerson concurred that Wertz had effective counsel during trial but argued he had ineffective assistance during sentencing.