Atlanta prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Brian Nichols, who is accused of killing a judge and three others in a rampage that began March 11 in a courtroom, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Nichols, 33, was indicted yesterday.
Nichols’ attorneys want chief prosecutor Paul Howard and his staff removed from the case, arguing that local prosecutors can’t remain objective because the crime occurred at their workplace. Judge Hilton Fuller, brought in from another county to hear the murder case, hasn’t blocked Howard’s office from handling the case. Nichols’ defense attorneys took the unusual step of trying to question grand jurors about their knowledge of the case before they handed down the indictment. Fuller refused the request and instead questioned the grand jurors himself for about four hours with defense attorneys present.