Courthouse Killing Suspect May Be in Court Today

MARCH 14, 2005 - Posted at 8:01 a.m. CST

ATLANTA - Brian Nichols may have his first court appearance today, in connection with four killings in Atlanta.

Nichols allegedly overpowered a courthouse deputy escorting him to his rape trial Friday and took the deputy's gun, then entered the courtroom where his trial was being held and killed the presiding judge and court reporter.  He also is accused of killing a deputy who tried to stop him outside the courthouse and a federal agent during his flight from authorities.

Nichols could appear in federal court today for possession of a firerarm by a person under indictment.  Officials say they're using that charge to keep him in custody while they sort out all the other charges.  They expect to charge him with the killings within 30 days.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)