A man convicted of murdering a Houston police officer more than 20 years ago at a traffic stop returned to death row after an appellete court turned away his bid for a life sentence.

Carl Wayne Buntion, now 68, was convicted of murder and given the death penalty for gunning down Officer James Irby on June 27, 1990. The officer was shot five times with a .357 handgun after stopping Buntion's vehicle for a minor traffic violation.

After an appeals court later ruled that the jury instructions were flawed, Buntion won a new sentencing trial, reports KHOU. Jurors were told to consider Buntion's troubled childhood.

"I'm relieved. I'm elated. I feel vindicated," Maura Irby, the officer's widow, told the Houston Chronicle.

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