High court upholds death penalty in school rampage

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(AP) – The California Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty against a high school dropout convicted of going on a murderous rampage through his former Northern California school in 1992.

The court unanimously ruled on Thursday that Eric Houston received a fair trial in 1993.  The court also said that there was overwhelming evidence he planned the killings, which supported his first-degree murder convictions.

Houston was a 20-year-old dropout of Lindhurst High School in Yuba County when he walked into the school on the afternoon of May 1, 1992 with guns and a grudge. He first killed his former civics teacher, Robert Brens. Brens had flunked Houston and prevented him from graduating. He then killed three students and injured 10 others.

Houston surrendered to police after holding dozens of hostages for hours.

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