Court house shooting defendant indicted

May 6, 2005 at 11:04 AM

ATLANTA, May 6 (UPI) -- A formal indictment charging Brian Nichols in the Atlanta courthouse shooting March 11 has been issued, and prosecutors said they want the death penalty.

The 54-count indictment included charges of murder, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday.

After the indictment was returned, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced he would seek the death penalty.

Nichols, 33, is charged in the March 11 incident in which he allegedly overpowered a guard in the courthouse, took her gun and used it to kill a judge, court reporter, a deputy sheriff and a Customs agent he ran across after he made his escape.

He surrendered the following day.

Nichols' attorney is trying to get Howard removed from the case, arguing the district attorney couldn't be impartial because the crime occurred in his workplace and many employees in his office knew the victims.

Judge Hilton Fuller has been brought in from DeKalb County to handle the case, and has yet to rule on the motions.

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