Federal appeal revived in triple murder case

Nebraska death-row inmate John Lotter continues to pursue a federal appeal of his conviction for the triple murder that inspired the 1999 film “Boys Don't Cry.''

An appeal Lotter filed in U.S. District Court in May 2004 has been on hold while he pursued an appeal in state courts. The Nebraska Supreme Court upheld Lotter's conviction in September. U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Zwart recently reopened the federal appeal, and Lotter filed documents Monday that moves the case forward.

Lotter claims, among other things, that the state used a threat of torture, the electric chair, to coerce his friend Thomas Nissen into lying about the murder of Teena Brandon and two others in southeast Nebraska. Lotter has maintained since his arrest that he is innocent.