Death row inmate Richard Glossip has had his conviction for murder upheld by an Oklahoma court, paving the way for him to be executed next month.
Glossip, 60, was sentenced to death for ordering the 1997 killing of Barry Van Treese, the owner of a motel in Oklahoma City where Glossip worked.
He has maintained his innocence.
The motel’s handyman, Justin Sneed, admitted robbing Van Treese and beating him to death with a baseball bat, but claimed he did so only after Glossip promised to pay him $10,000 to do it.
Sneed, who ended up with a sentence of life in prison, was the key witness in two separate murder trials for Glossip, both of which ended in a conviction and death sentence.
Earlier this month, Oklahoma attorney general Gentner Drummond urged the court to throw out Glossip’s conviction, arguing Sneed lied to the jury about his mental health and drug use.
Petitioning for a new trial, Mr Drummond said there were other problems with the case, including evidence being destroyed.
Glossip’s lawyer, Don Knight, said he will continue to seek a new trial and will appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court.
“It is unconscionable for the court to attempt to force the state to move forward with his execution,” he said.
Glossip is scheduled to be executed on 18 May.