Courthouse Gunman Avoids Death Sentence

ATLANTA (AP) - A jury has failed to reach a unanimous decision
on how to sentence a man who killed a judge and three other people
in a shooting spree that started in a downtown Atlanta courthouse.

Prosecutors had asked the jury to sentence Brian Nichols to death. Under Georgia law, the judge will now decide whether to sentence the 37-year-old to life in prison with parole eligibility or life in prison without parole. He has set a hearing Saturday to decide.

Nichols was convicted last month of murder and dozens of other
counts in the 2005 killings. Nichols was on trial for rape when he
grabbed a guard's gun and fatally shot the judge, a court reporter and a deputy in the courthouse. He fled and killed a federal agent in Atlanta.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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