Suspect in Atlanta courtroom shooting gets 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 uphold the rape charges against him. He will be charged with 4 counts of murder and is currently being held with bond.

Nichols allegedly shot the judge at his rape trial along with two others in an Atlanta courtroom. He then fled to a suburb outside the city, where later that evening he shot a US customs agent before taking a woman, Ashley Smith, hostage. Smith was held by Nichols in her own apartment for 4 hours while he eluded a massive manhunt.

Nichols ultimately let Smith go free. He surrendered peacefully to a SWAT team after she alerted authorities.

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