KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Knoxville federal judge has refused to appoint an attorney to press a convict's civil lawsuit.
Letalvis Cobbins, who was convicted in the torture slaying of a young Knoxville couple, claims Knox County jailers attacked him.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported U.S. District Court Judge Tom Varlan issued a written ruling in which he refused to provide a taxpayer-funded lawyer for Cobbins. Courts must provide attorneys for indigents in criminal cases, but not to represent them in civil matters.
Cobbins wrote in his petition that he was hit, stomped and kicked until he was bloody and swollen when he was held in the local jail in June during an appeal of his conviction.
He filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Knox County Sheriff's Office and its jailers.
He and three others convicted in the killings were granted new trials after former Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner admitted he was addicted to painkillers while presiding over the trials.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)