Atlanta jury finds man guilty of courtroom murder of judge + 3 officials

November 7, 2008, Atlanta, GA, jury verdict (–An Atlanta jury convicted a man this morning for the killing of a judge and three others in a Fulton County Courthouse during a botched escape attempt in March 2005. Atlanta Fulton County Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began a city wide manhunt for assailant Brian Nichols, in March 2005. Nichols successfully escaped from the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, where he was being tried for rape at the time.

Prosecuting attorneys want the death penalty for Nichols, 36, who was convicted of 54 felony counts including murder, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault and carjacking, according to a court official. In 2005, Nichols overpowered a security guard, took her gun, and shot dead Judge Rowland Barnes and a court reporter. While he escaped, he killed a deputy sheriff outside the court house and a federal agent. He then hijacked several cars and held a woman hostage in her home, north of Atlanta, before eventually surrendering to authorities.

Reported by jury verdict informer Heather L. Ryan for JusticeNewsFlash a medium providing a forum for lawyers, journalists and other professionals to communicate with their communities about breaking news. Topics covered include government health and law, jury verdicts and awards, personal injury claims, wrongful death legal actions, employment law, workers rights litigation and civil rights violations.

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