Indigent Defense

Prosecutor Seeks to Oust Judge in Courthouse Shooting Case

The Atlanta prosecutor who is pursuing charges against alleged courthouse gunman Brian Nichols is asking the Georgia Supreme Court to remove the judge who is presiding in the case.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. argues that Judge Hilton Fuller Jr. exceeded his authority in regard to lawyer funding issues, according to the Fulton County Daily Report. Howard is also asking the court to dismiss the state-paid private lawyers representing Nichols and replace them with staff lawyers from the state’s Public Defender Standards Council.

Fuller is at the center of increasing controversy after he halted Nichols’ trial because his private lawyers were no longer being paid by the state. He ordered the standards council to argue why it should not be held in contempt for failing to pay attorney fees, then recused himself from the hearing on the matter.

Howard claims Fuller violated the state’s statutory indigent defense scheme when he allowed private lawyer Henderson Hill to replace a staff lawyer who was unable to handle the job for health reasons.

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