Court rejects appeal from condemned inmate Hodges

(AP) -- A federal appeals court has turned away an effort by a condemned Tennessee inmate who once proclaimed himself to be a serial killer.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday refused to overturn the sentence of 47-year-old Henry Hodges of Nashville after concluding that defense attorneys did an adequate job in advising him to plead guilty.

Judge Alice Batchelder wrote that defense attorneys gave questionable advice to plead guilty in hopes of avoiding a death sentence. But, Batchelder wrote, Hodges' decision to write to the judge and prosecutors to confess to the slaying made the evidence in the case overwhelming.

Hodges is awaiting execution for the 1990 strangulation death of Ronald A. Bassett in Nashville. A jury sentenced Hodges to death after the guilty plea.

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