Suspect in Atlanta courthouse shooting appears at hearing

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Brian Nichols appeared before Cobb County Magistrate Judge Frank Cox on Tuesday, four days after fleeing Atlanta in a killing spree. The hearing took place inside a Fulton County jail. Accompanied by nineteen security officers and shackled at the hands and feet, Nichols only words when asked if he had any questions were, "Not at this time."

The 5 minute hearing was a formality to re-file charges of rape against him. He will be charged with 4 counts of murder and is currently being held with bond.

Nichols allegedly shot the judge presiding over his rape trial along with two others present at the time in an Atlanta courtroom. He then fled to a suburb outside the city. Later that evening, it is allegeded he shot a US customs agent before taking a woman hostage in her own apartment, alluding the massive manhunt.

Nichols ultimately let the hostage, Ashley Smith, go free. He surrendered peacefully to a SWAT team after Smith alerted authorities.

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