25 July 2017 :
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Todd Kelvin Wessinger's death sentence in a 1995 double murder at a restaurant. The Court of Appeals overturned a 2015 decision by U.S. District Judge James Brady that Wessinger had not had an effective lawyer during the penalty phase of his trial. Brady had ordered that the state court re-do the penalty phase. The appeals court ruled that the list of carefully documented efforts to appeal specific elements of the case and to find funding for additional legal and investigative work -- which mostly failed -- were evidence of diligent and competent legal work. Wessinger had once worked as a dishwasher at Calendar's Restaurant on Perkins Road near Essen Lane. He went to the restaurant before it opened on Nov. 19, 1995, to rob the place. He killed manager Stephanie Guzzardo and cook David Breakwell and injured Mark Armentor. One other employee escaped injury because Wessinger's gun malfunctioned. Wessinger escaped with about $7,000 but was identified as the murder suspect very quickly.