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A federal appeals court has rejected a Virginia death row inmate's appeal of his murder-for-hire conviction.

Ivan Teleguz was sentenced to death in 2006 for hiring a man to kill his former girlfriend, Stephanie Sipe, in Harrisonburg. After two key prosecution witnesses recanted, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012 ordered a judge to conduct a hearing on Teleguz's innocence claim.

After one of those witnesses refused to testify and the other did not attend the hearing, U.S. District Judge James P. Jones determined that affidavits recanting their previous testimony were unreliable. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that it found no reason to overrule Jones on that issue.

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