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.


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