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RBA
03-12-2005, 11:38 AM
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• Intense manhunt in Ga. (http://javascript<b></b>:oMvsLink('00','aab422d6-53b9-4081-ae61-3df7c8e38d8e');)
March 12: The search for courthouse shooting suspect Brian Nichols has intensified in the Atlanta area. NBC's Martin Savidge reports.

New murder possibly linked to courthouse killer
Pickup, pistol, badge stolen from slain U.S. customs agent
NBC, MSNBC and news services
Updated: 10:13 a.m. ET March 12, 2005

ATLANTA - Hundreds of law officials extended their massive search for a man suspected in a courthouse triple slaying as officials on Saturday tried to determine whether the fatal shooting of a U.S. customs agent was related.

The agent was found dead Saturday, and officials said his 1994 Chevrolet pickup, pistol and badge were stolen.

The shooting occurred in the same general area where courthouse rampage suspect Brian Nichols used to live.

"We don't know if this is the same suspect," Fulton County Police deputy Chief G.D. Miles said. "Whoever is driving this pickup truck is a cop killer."

Nichols, 33, was suspected of killing a judge and two other people at a downtown courthouse Friday, then stealing a reporter's car.

Although police initially thought Nichols escaped in the car, he apparently left the green Honda Accord in the same parking garage that he had carjacked it from. Someone working in the area saw the car and called police.

“He went from one level of the parking lot to another, apparently,” Atlanta police spokesman John Quigley said early Saturday. “We don’t know if any other cars are missing. I don’t know if the person took public transportation or took another vehicle. There’s lots of options.”



A reward of $60,000 was being offered for information leading to Nichols’ capture. Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington said two tip lines would be staffed round-the-clock: (404) 730-7983 and (404) 730-7984.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told MSNBC that the manhunt covered several Atlanta metro-area counties, though some officials said the suspect may have fled the state.

Looking for leads
Quigley said authorities were reviewing surveillance tapes “to see what leads we can develop from that.” One of those tapes came from CNN security cameras in the parking garage where the carjacking took place.

The photos show a black man resembling Nichols donning a jacket that CNN said belonged to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Don O’Briant.

Nichols beat O’Briant and demanded his car after fleeing the courthouse, where he fatally shot a judge, a court reporter and deputy sheriff with a gun he stole from another deputy sheriff. The deputy sheriff who had her gun stolen was escorting Nichols to his rape trial.

Throughout Friday, police said they were looking for the reporter’s car, and highway message boards across the state issued descriptions of the vehicle. The report about the car being found came more than 13 hours after the slayings.

Authorities continued to ask for the public’s help in finding Nichols early Saturday, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said, “We do not know what type of vehicle he is in.”

Nichols is armed and dangerous, said Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington.



Courthouse rampage
Nichols got the semiautomatic pistol by overpowering the female deputy while he was being led down a corridor in the Fulton County Courthouse, Assistant Police Chief Alan Dreher said. After shooting the deputy in the face, the suspect then went to the courtroom, held about a dozen people at bay for a short time and shot and killed Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and court reporter Julie Brandau, authorities said.

Another deputy, identified as Sgt. Hoyt Teasley, was later killed outside the courthouse when he confronted the suspect, Dreher said. The deputy shot while leading Nichols to court, identified as Cynthia Hall, was in critical condition but was expected to survive.

The shootings occurred a day after the judge and prosecutors had requested extra security for deputies following the discovery of the sharp objects in Nichols’ shoes, prosecutor Gayle Abramson said. She said the objects were apparently fashioned by sharpening pieces of a door knob assembly.

Freeman said the extra security that was requested by the prosecutor’s office was provided. He refused to elaborate.

Suspect described as 'intelligent, articulate'
Nichols’ attorney, Barry M. Hazen, told CNN that his client is a “very intelligent, articulate man” and never seemed violent. But he acknowledged the concern raised by the sharp objects found in his shoes.

“Judge Barnes indicated to us that he was going to have security in the courtroom beefed up for the remainder of the trial,” said Hazen. “We were most concerned what reaction we would get if a jury were to convict him.”

Dreher said there were no other officers assisting with taking Nichols to court other than the female deputy. The law requires that defendants on trial not be handcuffed as they enter the courtroom, to make sure the sight of cuffs doesn’t unfairly influence the jury.

The shooting occurred shortly after Nichols had changed out of his prison uniform and into street clothes. After shooting the deputy, police said he went through a walkway that leads into the courthouse where the judge’s chambers are located, proceeding to gun down the judge and his court reporter.

The shootings took place around 9 a.m. Friday — the fourth day of Nichols’ trial. Nichols had been facing a re-trial on charges of rape, sodomy, burglary, and false imprisonment, among others, after his earlier trial ended in a hung jury a week ago.

“I think he probably realized ... he might be convicted this time, he might not have a chance to walk out,” Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said. “We believe he came here with the intent to make sure that didn’t happen.”

Nichols was accused of bursting into his ex-girlfriend’s home, binding her with duct tape and sexually assaulting her over three days. Howard said Nichols brought a loaded machine gun into the home and a cooler with food in case he was hungry.

Facing a possible life sentence
Nichols, who had been jailed for the last six months, had faced a possible life prison sentence if convicted for rape.



Nichols’ last known job was working as a computer technician for a subsidiary of Atlanta-based shipping giant UPS. Company spokesman Norm Black says Nichols joined the unit in March 2004 and left in September 2004, which was when he was arrested.

More than 100 state troopers and officers from several agencies, including the FBI, were assisting in the search, but there were few leads, said G.D. Stiles, a Fulton County deputy chief. Offers of help from officers on their days off were pouring in

New death threat
Late Friday afternoon, a caller to the district attorney's office who appeared to be Nichols, according to office staffers, threatened the life of Abramson, who as the assistant district attorney was also handling his case.

Speaking to NBC's Dan Abrams Friday afternoon, Howard said that authorities were checking into the call, trying to determine whether it was a hoax, but Howard added, "Based on what we have seen today, (Nichols) certainly is capable of it."

Howard said he and his family, Abramson and her family, and the alleged rape victim and her family were all in protective custody.

Speaking of Abramson, Howard said: “I think she’s in shock.”

'We're shook to the core'
News of the judge being killed stunned Georgia’s legal community (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7161821/), with lawyers praising Barnes for his personable approach to justice and his sense of humor.

“We’re shook to the core,” said Linda Dreyer, a longtime employee in the court administrator’s office who knew Barnes.

“This is a profound shock. It’s so unthinkable, it’s like a 9-11 at the courthouse,” said fellow Judge Craig Schwall.

Among the recent cases that Barnes handled was the sentencing of Atlanta Thrashers player Dany Heatley, who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in the death of a teammate.

Barnes, 64, also drew national attention last month when he approved a plea deal that required a mother of seven who pleaded guilty to killing her 5-week-old daughter to have a medical procedure that would prevent her from having more children.

James Bailey, a juror at Nichols’ trial, said the jury was not in the courtroom at the time of the shooting. He said Nichols had made him and other jurors nervous. “Every time he looked up, he was staring at you,” Bailey said.

The newspaper reporter also described a feeling of being unnerved while face to face with Nichols.

“When he had the gun in my face, you start to think, ‘How can I stay alive.’ I thought this was a routine carjack. I didn’t know two other people were killed,” said O’Briant, a features writer for the Journal-Constitution.

The shooting happened 11 days after the husband and elderly mother of a federal judge in Chicago were shot to death in her home. A man whose medical malpractice lawsuit was dismissed by the judge committed suicide and left a note saying he was the killer. Police said Friday that a DNA sample (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032478/)from the man matched the one recovered from a cigarette butt found at the crime scene, indicating he was in fact the killer.


NBC's Dan Abrams, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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RBA
03-12-2005, 12:18 PM
CNN Breaking...Hostage Situation in North Atlanta Apt. Complex

RBA
03-12-2005, 12:35 PM
The Bastard has been caught according to single source via CNN.

ghettochild
03-12-2005, 12:50 PM
we just had a news break here in dallas, said they got em

RedsBaron
03-12-2005, 01:01 PM
Does anyone know if Georgia has capital punishment?

Unassisted
03-12-2005, 01:11 PM
Not to minimize the tragic loss of life, but I like that my local newspaper buried this story on page 4 today. I don't like to see people who do things like this get such phenomenal amounts of international publicity and screaming headlines. That media attention leads people with twisted minds (e.g., John Hinckley) to conclude that stunts like this are a way to acquire fame or to escape custody and certain imprisonment. Tragedy + huge fame leads to copycats. :thumbdown:

RBA
03-12-2005, 01:55 PM
It maybe the case that there might me copycats. But I think notifying the public and increasing their awareness is the proper thing to do. The police/US Marshalls need all the help they can get. Especially when police departments have skeleton crews with a great many of them also guardsmen who are serving in Iraq. The more eyes and ears the better.

besty65
03-12-2005, 01:59 PM
To Bad it didnt happen in Texas, hed fry fer sure. (sad that it happened at all.) :thumbdown

Reds Fanatic
03-12-2005, 02:21 PM
Does anyone know if Georgia has capital punishment?
I don't know if Georgia has the death penalty. But since he killed a customs agent and that will make this a federal case. He might get the federal death sentence.

Reds4Life
03-12-2005, 02:28 PM
Does anyone know if Georgia has capital punishment?

Yes, Georgia has the death penalty.

Raisor
03-13-2005, 09:06 PM
I don't know if Georgia has the death penalty. But since he killed a customs agent and that will make this a federal case. He might get the federal death sentence.


It'll be a dogfight between the state and the feds over who gets first crack at the guy.

Things were pretty wild down here for 24 hours, I'll tell you.

My girlfriend Amanda was at Lennox Square (one of the malls here in the area) when someone was killed. No one was sure if Nichols was the guy at the time. I still haven't heard the whole story (I've been out of the loop since early Saturday).

GAC
03-13-2005, 09:48 PM
Women in Hand-to-Hand Combat: The Atlanta Incident
Written by Bob Parks
Sunday, March 13, 2005

http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=13532

It’s time to remind those who will be spending the next few weeks asking the same old agenda-driven questions that there are some of us who’ll offer up some of the same old agenda-driven answers: points we’ve been making for years and have been hammered for.

The murder of a judge, court recorder, and a deputy on Friday morning in Atlanta might have never happened if two issues had been addressed years ago, without the politically correct remedy that some saw as the ticking time-bomb it turned out to be.

1. There are some jobs women can do.

2. There are jobs women shouldn’t do.

I’m sure that I’m inviting a Larry Summers response, but someone has to say it.

In deference to the feminist Army Sergeant First Class (apparently only skimming my last column) who proceeded to e-mail me numerous long tirades about how women can perform in combat areas as well as any man (I partially agree) on government time, I contend that if combat is hand-to-hand the average man would defeat his female counterpart. And maybe worse.

That’s not being mean or sexist. In the real world, there are very few G.I. Janes or Sonya Blades.

Reportedly after suspected rapist... let’s start there. A rapist. This is a dangerous man who has no regard for anyone but himself. He obviously has no respect for women.

Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and prosecutors asked for additional security from rape suspect Brian Nichols after he set off alarms by having sharp objects hidden in his shoes. One would think this might be a tip-off and be taken a bit more seriously. Nichols was reportedly in the fourth day of his retrial for rape, sodomy, burglary, and false imprisonment. If convicted this time, he was going away all day.

A few years ago while going to a supermarket in Los Angeles, I saw the biggest cop I’ve ever seen in my life. This guy was easily 6’5” and must have weighed a lean 275 pounds. I might cry if I had to go hand-to-hand with him. Surely benevolent monsters like this are available for special situations in Atlanta.

The additional security request seems to have fallen through the cracks as a lone female officer escorted Nichols to court that morning.

According to the Associated Press: “Nichols got the semiautomatic pistol by overpowering the female deputy while he was being led down a corridor in the Fulton County Courthouse....” Seeing how prisoners aren’t allowed to be shackled in the courtroom (obviously a rule not written by conservatives), Nichols had to be uncuffed. Looking at a long jail term, what did he have to lose and... look who’s between him and one last way out?

Nichols shot Deputy Cynthia Hall in the face, then went into the courtroom and shot and killed both the judge and court reporter Julie Brandau. He later shot and killed another deputy outside. It has been reported he may have shot and killed a federal officer after his escape from the Court House.

The question will be asked why the request for additional security was not better honored. The question I have is when will we accept the fact that women shouldn’t have to be put into unreasonable situations just to appease a feminist agenda? Deputy Hall, with all due respect, shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place, let alone... alone.

The argument of the breakdown of society is only being reinforced when judges, their staff, and families are being targeted. Just how badly do we really need to look multicultural and Third World? It’s especially disheartening when people are hurt and killed for the most stupid of reasons.

Certain prisoners require special treatment. Dangerous criminals are best kept under control by someone who can beat his ass if need be. As much as Amnesty International would disagree, I’m sure those in the courtroom on Friday would have thought it justified if a big deputy beat the crap out of Nichols if he even looked at the pistol the wrong way. The female deputy could not do that.

Political correctness never seems to take into account the possibility of hand-to-hand combat and that some women might not be man enough to fight for their lives.

How hard it that to understand?

So here is a pic of when the guy finally surrenders, and who is escorting this nutcase?

http://www.urbanmecca.com/artman/uploads/52379695.jpg

RBA
03-13-2005, 10:36 PM
In deference to the feminist Army Sergeant First Class (apparently only skimming my last column) who proceeded to e-mail me numerous long tirades about how women can perform in combat areas as well as any man (I partially agree) on government time, I contend that if combat is hand-to-hand the average man would defeat his female counterpart. And maybe worse.




The sad fact is many Law Enforcement Agencies are drained of manpower due to them also member of the Natonall Guard and Reserves. Still, efforts should of been made to ensure this rapist (at the time) was controlled properly.

GAC
03-14-2005, 11:09 AM
What bothers me about this whole situation is this....

It's a matter of record what this guy did (or is accused of).... he broke into his ex-GF's house with a machine gun, duct taped her, and them sexually assaulted (sodomized) her for three days. He even took a cooler of food in case he got hungry.

His first trial results in a hung jury. How, I don't know. But they decide to retry him, and the evidence is pretty convincing that this time he's going down (he realizes this).

So the day before this all blew up, and when he is brought to court on Thursday, they discover two shanks hidden in his shoes that he had fashioned from some part of the door hinges. How he was able to do this in jail astounds me. I think it was pretty obvious what his intentions were at that point. Even the judge asks for extra security. And look what they provided? I'm not faulting this female police officer. She is in my prayers as she tries to recover from some very serious wounds.

But the system created the environment, which this nutcase obviously recognized and flaunted. And now three people are dead, one pistol-whipped, and another critically wounded.

The law says that he wasn't alowed to be cuffed when brought into the courtroom because they feel it MIGHT prejudice the jury. Yet the jury wasn't yet in the courtroom when he was brought in. And when they talked with the jury foreman and several others on the jury (from his first trial), they admitted they were intimidated and fearful of this guy because he would sit in the courtroom, make eye contact with each of the jurors, and just stare them down.

So I don't think cuffs would have prejudiced this jury anymore then what he was already doing.

They need to change some rules/procedures on handling felons in our courtrooms, or this is gonna continue to happen.

Larkin Fan
03-14-2005, 11:38 AM
But the system created the environment, which this nutcase obviously recognized and flaunted. And now three people are dead, one pistol-whipped, and another critically wounded.

Try four people dead. He killed a customs agent too.

CbusRed
03-14-2005, 02:09 PM
But the system created the environment, which this nutcase obviously recognized and flaunted. And now three people are dead, one pistol-whipped, and another critically wounded.

The law says that he wasn't alowed to be cuffed when brought into the courtroom because they feel it MIGHT prejudice the jury. Yet the jury wasn't yet in the courtroom when he was brought in. And when they talked with the jury foreman and several others on the jury (from his first trial), they admitted they were intimidated and fearful of this guy because he would sit in the courtroom, make eye contact with each of the jurors, and just stare them down.

So I don't think cuffs would have prejudiced this jury anymore then what he was already doing.

They need to change some rules/procedures on handling felons in our courtrooms, or this is gonna continue to happen.


Thank your liberal georgia lawmakers for this travesty.

GAC
03-15-2005, 09:39 PM
Thank your liberal georgia lawmakers for this travesty.

I don't see that as the reasoning at all. I'm a conservative; but I see conservative lawmakers doing stupid things like this also. I don't care what "side" you're on... most decisions are made for purely political purposes and where common sense seems to be left at the door.

GAC
03-15-2005, 09:42 PM
Try four people dead. He killed a customs agent too.

I thought he killed two in the court and the custom agent was the 3rd? I guess that is a moot point though because this situation could have very easily been avoided IMO. Such a travesty and waste. It makes me mad. And will they learn and change the procedures after this? I doubt it.

pedro
03-15-2005, 09:51 PM
Thank your liberal georgia lawmakers for this travesty.

Have you been to Georgia lately? Liberal is not a word I'd use for it. The state is controlled by conservatives.

TMBS, this was a procedural error caused by the sheriff's department. There is no way on earth that a violent criminal should be guarded in such a situation by a single female guard.

Raisor
03-15-2005, 10:00 PM
Have you been to Georgia lately? Liberal is not a word I'd use for it. The state is controlled by conservatives.

.

Only recently though. This is the first time Republicans have held both the upper and lower houses since reconstruction. Most of the judges were appointed by Dems.

pedro
03-15-2005, 10:09 PM
Only recently though. This is the first time Republicans have held both the upper and lower houses since reconstruction. Most of the judges were appointed by Dems.

that is true. but georgia dems aren't always that "liberal" either.

RBA
03-15-2005, 10:13 PM
This is a sad story. People are eager to point fingers at who/or what agencies screwed up. But what needs to be done is a complete investigation on what went wrong and steps need to be put in place to correct it immediately.

RedsBaron
03-15-2005, 10:39 PM
This is a sad story. People are eager to point fingers at who/or what agencies screwed up. But what needs to be done is a complete investigation on what went wrong and steps need to be put in place to correct it immediately.
I agree.

GAC
03-17-2005, 10:45 AM
This is a sad story. People are eager to point fingers at who/or what agencies screwed up.

Because someone did screw up (i.e. the Fulton Co. Sheriff's Dept). And this is not the first time they have done so. This sheriff's dept has suffered a few "black eyes" over the last several years for courtroom screw-ups.

When the guy comes into your courtroom the day before he commits this heinous crime, and they find homemade knives in his socks, and the judge requests extra security for this guy from that point on, then yes, somebody screwed up.

That is what makes me, and alot of people, mad. People were needlessly murdered because the sheriff dept. didn't act. This whole tragedy could have been avoided with some common sense.

Did you notice when they brought him into he courtroom after his capture that he was cuffed and had several rather large deputies surronding him?

They had the Futon Co. prosecuting attorney on TV the other night, and while he acknowledged that things weren't handled properly, he also made alot of excuses.

Now they are considering a procedural change where no guns are allowed in the courtroom (including law enforcement). Yeah, that is real smart. :rolleyes:

RBA
03-17-2005, 10:52 AM
I can see your point.

CrackerJack
03-17-2005, 08:34 PM
Thank your liberal georgia lawmakers for this travesty.


What does this have to do with "liberals?" I guess you're implying the amount and position of female officers is due to these "liberals?"

The problem wasn't the fact she was female - or that there's female officers - the problem was the procedure used and the fact someone simply didn't provide enough security for this man - one officer of any sex is absurd - I've seen petty thieves escorted in and out of courthouses with more security than that. It doesn't matter how big or small they are.

GAC
03-17-2005, 09:18 PM
What does this have to do with "liberals?" I guess you're implying the amount and position of female officers is due to these "liberals?"

The problem wasn't the fact she was female - or that there's female officers - the problem was the procedure used and the fact someone simply didn't provide enough security for this man - one officer of any sex is absurd - I've seen petty thieves escorted in and out of courthouses with more security than that. It doesn't matter how big or small they are.

I agree. This was simply absurb in the way they handled this. Especially after what had happened in that courtroom the day before. If that wasn't a warning sign, then "DUH!".

pedro
03-17-2005, 09:24 PM
Having lived in Atlanta from 1993-2003 I can say that the Fulton County Sheriff's office has had more than it's share of problems in recent years. Fiscal mismanagement, gang land slayings of elected officials by members of the Police force, etc, etc, etc.

gilcrest
03-18-2005, 12:20 AM
What does this have to do with "liberals?" I guess you're implying the amount and position of female officers is due to these "liberals?"

The problem wasn't the fact she was female - or that there's female officers - the problem was the procedure used and the fact someone simply didn't provide enough security for this man - one officer of any sex is absurd - I've seen petty thieves escorted in and out of courthouses with more security than that. It doesn't matter how big or small they are.

Im pretty sure he was referring to the fact that liberal lawmakers pushed for the "no hand cuff" law in order to not sway jurors opinions by seeing the defendant in cuffs.

had this violent criminal been cuffed, none of this would have ever happened.

RBA
03-18-2005, 12:32 AM
Im pretty sure he was referring to the fact that liberal lawmakers pushed for the "no hand cuff" law in order to not sway jurors opinions by seeing the defendant in cuffs.

had this violent criminal been cuffed, none of this would have ever happened.

Can you explain this "no hand cuff" law? When was it passed by the Georgia Legistration? And what does the law entail?

GAC
03-18-2005, 09:10 AM
Can you explain this "no hand cuff" law? When was it passed by the Georgia Legistration? And what does the law entail?

From what I heard on the news, they cannot bring a prisoner into the courtroom with handcuffs because they feel it could prejudice the jury. The only problem is though (in this situation), the jury wasn't even in the room when he was being brought in.

Now, after this situation, they are looking at banning all firearms from the courtroom (including law enforcement). That is what the Fulton Co. DA suggested on TV the other night. Another dumb move IMO.

RBA
03-18-2005, 10:08 AM
With my experience. I think this "handcuff" law has no more to do with legistration, but with the procedures established by the State Troopers/Sheriffs Dept with the DA's guidance. I have a hard time beiliving that the correct procedures were followed here. But in any case they probably need to be revised.

With proper weapon retention techniques/trainng and having at least 2 quards at all times around the accused would be a good start. Getting rid of the firearms is not the way to go.

I also believe that the jury should not be present when the defendant enters the courtroom. The handcuffs can be removed prior to the jury coming in. If the defendant has been violent in the past, than keeping shackles on his/her legs might be a good way to go. The legs could be hidden under the desk. Also they could put some type of device that the guards can use to shock the defendant if he/she gets out of control.

GAC
03-18-2005, 11:30 AM
With my experience. I think this "handcuff" law has no more to do with legistration, but with the procedures established by the State Troopers/Sheriffs Dept with the DA's guidance. I have a hard time beiliving that the correct procedures were followed here. But in any case they probably need to be revised.

With proper weapon retention techniques/trainng and having at least 2 quards at all times around the accused would be a good start. Getting rid of the firearms is not the way to go.

I also believe that the jury should not be present when the defendant enters the courtroom. The handcuffs can be removed prior to the jury coming in. If the defendant has been violent in the past, than keeping shackles on his/her legs might be a good way to go. The legs could be hidden under the desk. Also they could put some type of device that the guards can use to shock the defendant if he/she gets out of control.

I agree wholeheartedly RBA. I know that if I was in that courtroom (a juror or whoever), and the preson they brought in was charged with a serious felon, then I'd feel alot safer knowing that the law enforcement present, who are trained in these situations, have guns just in case some nutcase decides to go bezerk. If they know that no one is armed in that room, then they may be tempted to give anything a shot.

Personally I think they should be cuffed. If they are worried it might prejudice a jury (which I doubt), then don't bring the jury in until the defendant is seated and all is secure.