RI 'Survivor' winner won't get free lawyer

AP
FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2010 file photo, reality TV star Richard Hatch, a former contestant on "Survivor," leaves federal court in Providence, R.I., where he was charged of violating terms of his probation on his tax evasion sentence. Judge William Smith decided Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 to reject Hatch's request for a court-appointed attorney to help him fight the sentence handed down in March for violating the terms of his supervised release by failing to settle his tax bill. (AP Photo/Stew Milne, file)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island judge is refusing to grant free legal counsel to help the winner of the first season of the CBS reality show "Survivor" appeal a nine-month prison sentence.

Judge William Smith on Thursday rejected 50-year-old Richard Hatch's request for a court-appointed attorney to help him fight the sentence handed down in March for violating the terms of his supervised release by failing to settle his tax bill.

Hatch, of Newport, spent more than three years in prison for not paying taxes on his $1 million "Survivor" winnings. He was released in 2009 and ordered to refile his 2000 and 2001 taxes and pay what he owed. Smith ruled he never did and returned him to prison.

Hatch, who claims he is "destitute," is scheduled to be released in December.