July 20, 2014
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - A judge has denied a Virginia inmate's request to manage his own federal death-penalty appeal.
William Morva was convicted of killing a hospital security guard and a sheriff's deputy in 2006 during an escape. He exhausted his state appeals in April 2013.
In the federal appeal case, Morva had sought a dismissal of his court-appointed attorneys.
The Roanoke Times (http://bit.ly/1oYtYxJ ) reports that U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski ruled Friday that a federal appeal's technicalities are too complex for a lay person to manage. Urbanski also rejected Morva's request for new attorneys.
Urbanksi also ordered Morva to undergo a mental evaluation. He said he would rule on Morva's competence later.
Morva's lead attorney, Jonathan Sheldon, had asked Urbanksi to declare Morva incompetent and have him evaluated and treated.