May 17, 2005

Nichols pleads "not guilty" in Atlanta courthouse shootings

Brian Nichols, the alleged assassin in the Atlanta courthouse shootings back in March, has pleaded "not guilty" to 54 counts, including murder, carjacking, armed robbery and kidnapping charges.

Nichols was present at an arraignment hearing in Atlanta today.

Defense attorney Chris Adams announced his client's plea of not guilty in the 54-count indictment charging Nichols with killing Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes, court reporter Julie Ann Brandau and deputy Sgt. Hoyt Teasley at the courthouse. In the indictment, Nichols is also charged with killing U.S. Customs agent David Wilhelm in Buckhead during a carjacking.

Nichols, dressed in a dark suit and light blue dress shirt, seemed to listen intently and answered Superior Court Judge Hilton Fuller politely with: "Yes, your honor," and "No, your honor" when asked if the defense team seated beside him represented him and if he wanted to discuss any concerns about his defense so far.

Nichols' attorneys, with the Office of the Georgia Capital Defender, asked Judge Fuller to move future pretrial hearings to DeKalb County. Fuller, on loan from DeKalb to hear the case, agreed.

Fuller said he doesn't have concerns about security at the Fulton Courthouse and that the move would be for other reasons, but he didn't elaborate.

The Fulton County DA, Paul Howard, has announced that he will seek the death penalty in the case.

The next hearing is scheduled for June 9 and 10, where Judge Fuller will hear defense requests for a gag order, and the recusal of Howard and his staff, since the shootings occured in their workplace, and they - the DA and his staff - were possible targets.

Posted by mhking at May 17, 2005 07:11 PM

I guess it was his evil twin that did it.. Is he for real? Geez!!!

Posted by: Cynthia at May 19, 2005 07:33 PM
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