HOUSTON - A federal appeals court has rejected as frivolous a civil rights lawsuit from a Texas prisoner who argued he was being barred from practicing religious beliefs related to vampires.
Inmate Courtney Royal two years ago sued about a dozen Texas prison administrators and officials at the Hughes Unit where he's serving a life sentence for numerous offenses, including aggravated assault, robbery and escape.
Royal's nine-page single-space typewritten lawsuit, rejected Thursday by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said he wanted to practice "West African spiritualism and 18th Century Catholicism" marked by prayer to Africans reincarnated by blood. He argued it was no different from "unproven" Christian beliefs.
In the filing, Royal described himself as "Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom Gardamun Family Circle Master Vampire High Priest."