Man convicted of rape, murder of SMU student loses appeal

A man convicted of raping and murdering an SMU student in 1984 lost his appeal in the Texas Court of Appeals. He will remain on death row.

SMU student Angela Samota and her convicted killer Donald Bess. Photo credit: WFAA

Donald Bess was sentenced to death in 2010 for raping and murdering 20-year-old SMU student Angela Samota in October 1984. Police solved the case in 2008 when Dallas Police matched Bess’ DNA to Samota’s slaying, according to The Dallas Morning News. The DNA technology was not available at the time of the rape-slaying.

Bess entered Samota’s apartment asking to use the phone and bathroom in her off-campus apartment. He then sexually assaulted her and stabbed her, according to The News.

He was out on parole in 1985 for aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping when he raped another woman, according to The News. He was sentenced to life in prison.

His death sentence came in 2010. The jury deliberated for less than an hour, The News reported.

Bess does not have an execution date set. He could still file appeals in federal courts, according to NBC-DFW.

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