Courthouse shooting trial moves forward in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) -- Security is tight both inside and outside the Atlanta Municipal Courthouse as opening statements get under way in the trial of a man accused of killing a judge, a court reporter and a sheriff's deputy in a March 2005 shooting rampage.

The gunfire began at the Fulton County Courthouse, a few blocks from where the trial is taking place. Brian Nichols is also accused of killing a federal agent later that day in an Atlanta suburb.

Nichols' lawyers argue that he was insane at the time of the shootings. Prosecutors say Nichols' rampage was part of an escape attempt.

The case has been marred by numerous delays and troubles. A prosecutor filed a lawsuit against the first presiding judge, who has since stepped down.

The new judge says he will keep the trial on track. He's brushing off yet another attempt by Nichols' lawyers to the delay the trial again. The judge says "both sides are in good shape" and he feels "we've waited long enough" to start the trial.

If convicted, Nichols could get the death penalty.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 29284354 -