SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah man has lost a 17-year legal fight over his murder conviction, although he still has options for postponing his execution date.
The Utah Attorney General announced Monday that Ralph Leroy Menzies recently lost his claim that he had ineffective lawyers.
Authorities say Menzies kidnapped Maurine Hunsaker from her gas station job Feb. 23, 1986. They say he drove her to a picnic area in Big Cottonwood Canyon, tied her to a tree, strangled her and slit her throat.
He was convicted by a jury and sentenced to death in 1988. The Utah Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence in 1994, and denied a review of the case in 1995.
Menzies' claim was denied March 23. The case heads to the Utah Supreme Court for the fourth time.