Nebraska high court rejects appeal in Scottsbluff murder

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday rejected the postconviction appeal of a man serving life in prison for the brutal stabbing death of his girlfriend in 2017.

Lucio Munoz, 69, had argued in his postconviction motion that his trial and direct appeal attorneys were so ineffective that it violated his right to fair trial. When a lower court rejected his motion without an evidentiary hearing, Munoz appealed.

On Friday, the state’s high court ruled that the lower court was right to dismiss the appeal without a hearing, saying Munoz failed to show he had any new evidence or information that would have changed the outcome of his conviction.

Munoz was found guilty of killing 48-year-old Melissa May, whose body was found in her Scottsbluff apartment Jan. 3, 2017, after officers went to check on her. Authorities said she had been stabbed 37 times, most likely on Dec. 31, 2016.

By the time May’s body was found, Munoz had already left town. He was arrested several days later in Bradley, Illinois.

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