3 dead as man on trial for rape escapes

Saturday, March 12, 2005

During the trial of a man yesterday for rape at an Atlanta court house, the man on trial allegedly stole the gun of a nearby deputy and shot dead the Judge, a reporter and another deputy. The suspect, Brian Nichols aged 33, was at court for the fourth day of his trial for numerous charges filed by a former girlfriend. Nichols was being tried a second time after his first trial ended in a hung jury (8-4 for acquittal).

After fleeing the court house Atlanta police assumed he drove away in the reporters car and issued a nation wide "look out" for the vehicle. The car was found later parked in the courthouse garage. He is still at large, and a massive police hunt is under way. The prior day to the incident, Mr. Nichols was found to have two handmade knives hidden in his shoes. Georgia prisoners often make "shanks" to try to fend off gang rapes while in custody.

There is a bounty of $60,000 for any information leading to Mr. Nichols' re-capture.