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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Condemned serial killer Derrick Todd Lee has failed to convince a state judge that he deserves a new trial in the 2002 slaying of former LSU graduate student Charlotte Murray Pace.

The Advocate reports Lee's case now goes to the Louisiana Supreme Court. If justices also reject Lee's arguments, the case would move to the federal post-conviction relief stage.

State District Judge Richard Anderson on Tuesday denied the 45-year-old St. Francisville man's state court petition for post-conviction relief. Anderson rejected, among other things, Lee's claims of ineffective assistance of counsel at the guilt and penalty phases of his trial in Baton Rouge.

Lee was found guilty in 2004 of first-degree murder in the May 31, 2002, killing of the 22-year-old Pace and sentenced to death.

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