KNOXVILLE (WATE) – After more than two decades on death row, a federal court has denied to overturn Christa Pike’s conviction and death penalty sentence.

A federal court ruled that Pike doesn’t have grounds for a federal appeal and that she has exhausted Tennessee state appeals.  Pike was convicted in the 1995 death of Colleen Slemmer, 19. Prosecutors say Pike tortured Slemmer, beat her to death and then kept a piece of her skull as a trophy.

Pike appealed her conviction and death penalty sentence in 2012. Slemmer’s mother has been fighting to get back the rest of her remains, which are being held as evidence, for a proper burial.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office says Pike has completed all appeals at the state level.