September 1, 2014
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A man convicted and sentenced to die for the 1998 hatchet killing of a University of Nevada, Reno police officer has filed a new appeal in federal court.
Siaosi Vanisi argues Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer violated his rights by refusing to let him fire his lawyers and represent himself.
In a petition filed in U.S. District Court in Reno, Vanisi also says the judge wouldn't allow his lawyers to withdraw from the case after Vanisi admitted he had killed Sergeant George Sullivan.
Sullivan was sitting in his patrol Jan. 13, 1998 when Vanisi attacked him with a hatchet.
The Nevada Supreme Court has affirmed his conviction and denied other appeals.