John Lotter loses federal appeal

John Lotter

Nebraska death-row inmate John Lotter has lost a federal appeal of his conviction in the triple murder near Humboldt.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf ruled Friday that Lotter's case has been sufficiently scrutinized by the Nebraska courts and a federal review isn't warranted. Lotter filed the federal appeal in May 2004 but it had been on hold until last spring because of a pending state appeal.

The Nebraska Supreme Court upheld Lotter's conviction in September 2009. Lotter has maintained since his arrest that he is innocent. He claims that, among other things, the state used a threat of torture to coerce his friend Thomas Nissen into lying about the murder of Teena Brandon and two others in southeast Nebraska.

The murders inspired the 1999 film “Boys Don't Cry.''