10 years since Fulton County courthouse shooting

Brian Nichols

Wednesday marks 10 years since Brian Nichols went on a deadly killing spree at the Fulton County courthouse.

On March 11, 2005, Nichols, an accused rapist, was headed to court for his trial.

Before entering the courtroom, Nichols overpowered Deputy Cynthia Hall, took her gun and opened fire in the courtroom.

He shot and killed Judge Roland Barnes, court reporter Julie Brandau and Fulton County Sheriff's Deputy Hoyt Teasley.

Nichols left the courthouse and later killed U.S. Customs agent David Wilhelm at the agent's Buckhead home.

The next day, Nichols was found and arrested at the Duluth apartment of Ashley Smith, who convinced him to surrender.

On Dec. 14, 2008, Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without parole after the jury deadlocked on the death penalty. That controversial decision spurred lawmakers to try to change state law, which requires a unanimous decision for a person to be sentenced to death.

The state spent least $2.9 million to pay for Nichols' defense.

Nichols is currently serving a life sentence.

Copyright 2015 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Locations

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.