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Inmate’s claim survives after appeal

(AP) A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit by a Virginia inmate who claims prison officials were indifferent to his complaints of physical and sexual abuse by cellmates.

Thursday’s 2-1 decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond returns Adib Makdessi’s complaint to the federal court in Roanoke for further proceedings.

U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad tossed out Makdessi’s lawsuit, which claims several prison officials ignored his repeated assault complaints. The appeals court said Conrad failed to consider circumstantial evidence that can prove deliberate indifference. The court’s majority said prison officials “may not simply bury their heads in the sand and thereby skirt liability.”

Makdessi is serving life in prison for killing his wife and her lover in Virginia Beach and then collecting $700,000 in insurance money.

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