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Trials & Litigation

Jury Gets Ga. Courthouse Slaying Case

Posted Nov 6, 2008 7:05 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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After six weeks of testimony, an expensive and controversial Georgia murder case against a defendant who allegedly shot to death a Fulton County judge and court reporter, among other victims, has reportedly gone to the jury.

Brian Nichols, 36, is pursuing an insanity defense concerning the murders, which he allegedly committed on March 11, 2005 after escaping from custody and beating a sheriff's deputy so badly she was left brain-damaged, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He had been about to go to trial in a rape case in the courtroom of the murdered jurist, Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes.

Prosecutor described Nichols to jurors in closing arguments as a remorseless and "extremely, extremely dangerous" killer, but a defense psychologist testified that he was delusional and believed he was leading a revolt against a slavemaster judge, according to the newspaper.

“This is a case about a broken mind,” defense attorney Josh Moore told jurors. “The just verdict in this case is not guilty by reason of insanity. I say the ‘just verdict’ because it will not be an easy verdict.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "2 Ga. Lawyers Testify: What Happened the Day When Judge Barnes Was Murdered"

ABAJournal.com: "Coverage Roundup: Prosecutors Drove Cost of Ga. Death Penalty Case"

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