A jury has found courthouse gunman Brian Nichols guilty of murder in a 2005 shooting spree that left a judge and three others dead and turned Atlanta's seat of justice into a crime scene.
The jury deliberated for 12 hours before finding 36-year-old Brian Nichols guilty Friday of fatally shooting Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and court reporter Julie Ann Brandau in the Fulton County courthouse and sheriff's Deputy Hoyt Teasley just outside the building. A fourth victim, federal agent David Wilhelm, was killed at a north Atlanta home he was renovating.
Nichols confessed to the killings. But he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He claimed he was gripped by a delusional compulsion that he was a slave rebelling against authority. The jury agreed.
Nichols sat silently as the verdicts were read.