Atlanta's Courthouse Killer Gets Life Without Parole

Jury deadlocked over whether multiple murderer should be executed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2008 9:58 AM CST
Christina Greenway, daughter of slain court reporter Julie Brandau, watches during the verdict of the Brian Nichols trial, Friday, Nov. 7, 2008 in Atlanta.    (AP Photo/Hyosub Shin, Pool)
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(Newser) – A Georgia man convicted of killing four people after escaping from custody will serve consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Brian Nichols was found guilty last month of killing a judge, a court reporter, a sheriff's deputy, and a federal agent. The jury spared him a death sentence, but he got little mercy in his sentencing this morning.

“For four innocent people to be taken off this earth in just a few hours, I believe there is a higher power and there had to be some purpose,” said the judge, speaking in the same Atlanta courthouse where Nichols began his killing spree after overpowering a sheriff's deputy during his 2005 rape trial. "I know a lot of people must have thought, ‘If only Agent Wilhelm had gotten the draw on Mr. Nichols.'"