Nichols May Be Tried in Atlanta Courthouse

A man accused of killing four people should be tried in the same downtown courthouse where the shooting spree started because no suitable alternative has been found, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors wrote in court papers Monday that Brian Nichols' defense failed to come up with another site for the Oct. 3 trial to which both sides can agree.

Nichols' defense has argued the trial should not be held in the Fulton County Courthouse complex because its hallways, parking lots and one of its courtrooms are considered a crime scene.

A hearing on the issue was scheduled for Wednesday.

Nichols was in the courthouse facing retrial on rape charges March 11 when he is accused of overpowering a deputy, grabbing her gun and shooting the presiding judge and a court reporter.

Nichols also is accused of killing a sheriff's deputy who chased him outside the courthouse, and a federal agent at a home a few miles away. He surrendered the next day after allegedly taking a woman hostage in a suburban Atlanta apartment.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

For the last several months, both sides have discussed holding the trial at other court buildings in the county. Officials at the federal courthouse a few blocks away have refused to hold the trial there.

Other sites suggested — including the City of Atlanta Traffic Court, the Charles Carnes State Court and the Union City Municipal Court — could not be agreed on by both sides, prosecutors said in court papers.

Nichols' defense has not formally asked for the trial to be moved to another county.