HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for a condemned killer of a San Antonio woman argue that deficient legal help during earlier stages of his appeals tainted his case.

They say Texas death row inmate TaiChin Preyor should be spared from being executed Thursday so his appeals can be reviewed more fairly.

Preyor is set for lethal injection for fatally slashing 24-year-old Jami Tackett in 2004. She's identified in court documents as his drug supplier.

Preyor's lawyers want a federal appeals court to stop the execution, which would be Texas' fifth this year. They argue an inexperienced California attorney who handled earlier federal appeals in his case was "utterly unqualified" and that her use of a disbarred lawyer for guidance perpetrated a fraud on the courts.

State attorneys say the late appeals are legally improper.