The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has turned down Nebraska death row inmate John Lotter's request for rehearing.

Lotter was appealing his conviction in the 1993 triple murder of Teena Brandon, Lisa Lambert and Philip DeVine at a rural Humboldt farmhouse.

The killings led to the 1999 film "Boys Don't Cry."

Lotter has maintained his innocence. But he was convicted at trial after Thomas Nissen took a deal with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty and testified that he stabbed Brandon but Lotter fired the shots that killed all three.

Nissen since has said that he, not Lotter, shot them.

Lotter sought to file a federal appeal, but District Judge Richard Kopf dismissed it, saying federal review wasn't warranted.

Lotter appealed to the Eighth Circuit.

In a split decision Aug. 23, a three-judge panel rejected his appeal in a one paragraph order.

U.S. Judges Roger Wollman of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Diana Murphy of Minneapolis said after carefully reviewing the original file the appeal should be dismissed.

U.S. Judge Kermit Bye of Fargo, N.D., said he would have allowed Lotter's appeal to go forward on several of his claims, including that his trial lawyer was left out of key talks between the judge and prosecutor and that the prosecutor misrepresented whether it had reached a plea agreement with Nissen on the first day of trial.

Lotter filed a petition asking the three-judge panel to rehear the case or for the full Eighth Circuit to reconsider the denial.

But, in a two-sentence order Monday, the request was denied.

Lotter's current attorney, Andre Barry, didn't return a call seeking comment.

Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Reach Lori Pilger at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com or follow her on Twitter at LJSpilger.


Load comments