ATLANTA, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Atlanta courthouse shooter Brian Nichols was spared the possibility of a death sentence Friday, officials said,
CNN reported that a possible death sentence was taken off the table after the jury deliberating Nichols' fate announced it was deadlocked, with nine jurors in favor of death and three in favor of life without parole.
Nichols, 37, was convicted last month of the 2005 deadly shooting rampage that began in the same Atlanta courthouse, where he was standing trial for rape. He grabbed a gun from a jailer and began his rampage.
Last month, Nichols was convicted of 54 counts for the rampage, which left a Fulton County judge and three others dead.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the judge said he would impose sentencing Saturday.
"You were faced with the hardest decision the judicial system will ever ask anybody to make," Judge James Bodiford told the jurors. "Everyone in Atlanta will have a comment on what you have done. … They have not sat in those chairs. They have not filled your shoes."