WASHINGTON (AP) ― A convicted rapist paroled from Ohio and then condemned for the robbery and strangulation of his 64-year-old stepmother in Texas lost an appeal Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court, moving him closer to execution.The high court refused to review the case of Reginald Perkins, 53, sent to death row for the slaying of Gertie Mae Perkins in Fort Worth 7 1/2 years ago. The woman's body was found in the trunk of her car in a parking garage.A Tarrant County jury took just 30 minutes in 2002 to decide Reginald Perkins should be put to death. Shortly after the jury's verdict was read in court, Perkins proclaimed his innocence in a written letter read by his lawyer.In November, a federal appeals court rejected claims he was mentally retarded and ineligible for the death penalty, that his legal help earlier had been ineffective, that the Texas sentencing statute was unconstitutional and that he was innocent of the murder. It's that appeal the Supreme Court refused to review Tuesday.Evidence at his trial showed he pawned his stepmother's wedding ring and wrote fraudulent checks from the account of the family trucking business in Fort Worth. When Gertie Perkins showed up missing, police summoned to her home found a carpet removed, a phone cord disconnected and sheets missing from a bed.He became a suspect after detectives learned of his previous convictions in Ohio for rape and attempted rape and that he had been a suspect in two killings in Cleveland in the 1980s. When arrested, he directed his father and police to the body.Perkins also acknowledged the slaying to a fellow inmate while awaiting trial and said his motive was robbery.At the punishment phase of his trial, jurors heard testimony that he pleaded guilty to rape and attempted rape of two 12-year-old girls in 1982 and that he had been implicated in the strangulation of two women. One of them was the mother of the girl he raped. The other was the sister of his ex-wife.In 1986, he had been paroled from Ohio after receiving a life prison term for the rape conviction. He was returned from parole eight years later but released again in February 2000. His stepmother's murder occurred 10 months later.Perkins does not have an execution date.In a second Texas death row case Tuesday, Elkie Taylor, convicted in another Fort Worth case, lost his bid for a rehearing before the justices.In March, the court refused to review Taylor's conviction and sentence for strangling a 65-year-old Fort Worth man with two wire coat hangers and then leading police on a four-hour chase in a stolen 18-wheeler.Like Perkins, Taylor also had been contending in appeals he shouldn't have been condemned because he is mentally retarded. He was sentenced to die for the 1993 robbery and murder of Otis Flake at Flake's Fort Worth home. Authorities said it was the second killing linked to Taylor over an 11-day period. The Milwaukee native had been on parole for about three months at the time of the slayings, freed after serving less than nine months of an eight-year sentence for burglary.In 2003, two days before he was set to be executed, he won a reprieve from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals because state prison records showed he may be mentally retarded and ineligible for execution under Supreme Court guidelines.The Texas appeals court later lifted its reprieve. Lower federal courts also have denied his subsequent appeals.Taylor, who does not yet have an execution date, climbed in the cab of the stolen truck and led police on a chase from Fort Worth to Waco that ended when a state trooper shot out the truck's tires. In the chase, he tried to ram police cars and run over two troopers standing on the side of a road.Authorities contended Taylor and an accomplice took cash and items from Flake's house so they could be sold to buy crack cocaine. His accomplice, Darryl Birdow, was sentenced in 1994 to life in prison. Authorities said Taylor admitted involvement in a similar slaying of an 87-year-old Fort Worth man 11 days earlier but blamed the killing on a partner.