Alleged Atlanta killer in court Tuesday

March 14, 2005 at 10:29 PM

ATLANTA, March 14 (UPI) -- Brian Nichols, who allegedly killed four people in Atlanta last week, is to make an initial court appearance Tuesday, officials said.

He has been held since Saturday after surrendering peacefully and releasing Ashley Smith, whom he held hostage overnight.

Nichols had been in the middle of a rape trial when he overpowered a guard Friday and took her weapon. He's charged with fatally shooting three people at the Fulton County Courthouse, including a judge. The fourth person, a federal U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent, was later fatally shot.

District Attorney Paul Howard said no new charges would be filed during the Tuesday morning "status" hearing, CNN reported.

"We plan to charge him with the murders of the four Fulton County residents," Howard said. "We plan to charge him with a number of aggravated assaults and carjackings."

Howard did not say whether he would seek the death penalty, but he told CNN that after his arrest, police officers reported the 33-year-old Nichols "seemed to be rather defiant - almost kind of proud of is activities."

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