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Posted: 3/12/2005 1:50:36 PM EDT
Family, former classmates say suspect in courthouse killing spree had two sides, one stable, another violent

Saturday March 12, 2005

ATLANTA (AP) Two pictures have emerged of the man police say went on a bloody rampage through Atlanta allegedly killing a judge and as many as three others before his arrest Saturday in an upscale town house.

Family members describe Brian Nichols as a ``good person'' who came from a stable home and avoided the temptations of the street. Former classmates and coaches, on the other hand, recall him as a physically intimidating martial arts expert with a knack for trouble.

Police say Nichols, a former computer technician who was on trial for rape, overpowered a female sheriff's deputy Friday and shot and killed Judge Rowland Barnes, who was presiding over his case. He also is accused of killing the judge's court reporter and a deputy who tried to stop him as he fled the downtown courthouse.

Nichols is also a suspect in the shooting death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent David Wilhelm, whose body was found Saturday in north Atlanta.

``We're trying to understand this whole thing,'' Nichols' sister-in-law Felisza Nichols said from her home in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., suburb of Plantation. ``Why did this happen? His character is completely opposite to what is going on.''

Nichols' mother, Clathera, is a retired IRS worker, and his father, Gene, was an entrepreneur, their daughter-in-law said. They raised their sons in Maryland, sending them to private schools and to college.

Nichols' parents were living in Africa, where his mother worked for a local revenue department, Felisza Nichols said. They had planned to return home next week.

Nichols was briefly a student at Kutztown University in eastern Pennsylvania. He enrolled in the fall of 1989, made it through his freshman year, then left the university in the fall semester of his sophomore year.

Nick Pergine, who played football with Nichols at Kutztown, said Nichols' massive physical presence and martial arts skills earned him a reputation as someone to be careful around.

``He was a bad dude,'' Pergine said. ``You didn't mess with him.''


Jake Williams, who coached Nichols at Kutztown, compared Nichols' physique with that of NFL star John Mobley, who also played at the university.

``He was a physical specimen like you wouldn't believe,'' Williams said.

Nichols was arrested at least three times during his short stay at the university.

In 1990, he was charged with terroristic threats, simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment, stemming from an incident in a university dining hall, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty to the two lesser charges and the others were dropped.

The next year, Nichols was arrested twice in a month for criminal trespassing, misdemeanor criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. The charges were later dropped.

After dropping out of school, Nichols moved to Georgia in 1995. He lived in an apartment complex in Atlanta, where a neighbor described him as a ``nuisance'' because he would occasionally let his pit bull roam around the complex.

Nichols' last known job was working as a computer technician for a subsidiary of Atlanta-based shipping giant UPS. Company spokesman Norm Black says Nichols joined the unit in March 2004 and left in September 2004, which was when he was arrested in the rape case.

Felisza Nichols says the portrait of her 33-year-old brother-in-law as a bloodthirsty killer doesn't make sense.

``He's a good person,'' she said. ``He didn't come from a broken home. He's not a person who hung out in the streets and was always in jail. He came up living a good life.''


Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:52:57 PM EDT
"Roll on 2"
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 1:53:42 PM EDT
Has the family of any mass murder ever not said "he was a good person"??

What a crock of shit.

Link Posted: 3/12/2005 2:29:59 PM EDT
From the little karate I know, you can definitely kick some ass without being big, but being big will definitely add another edge. It sounds like the female deputy is lucky to have escaped with her life. Though I don't know what her state of mind will be like when everything is said and done.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 2:40:41 PM EDT
Well his ass will be on death row now.

FREE
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 2:41:30 PM EDT
Ban martial arts training.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 2:43:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JarheadChiro:
"Roll on 2"




+ eleventy billion
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 5:48:35 PM EDT
In an early report on FOX I heard that the killed Judge allowed him (Nichols) to appear without handcuffs and regular clothes on (instead of Orange jumpsuit) so as not to have the jury prejudiced toward him? He then overpowered the deputy escorting him and went to the courtroom with her sidearm. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!????? He was going to trial for duct-taping up his ex-girlfriend and raping her repeatedly for three days, what was the judge thinking? Please, I mean no disrespect toward the dead but that was just a bad call......
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:02:27 PM EDT
Ban martial arts training.

That has been tried before.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:05:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:15:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:17:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:22:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2005 8:24:00 PM EDT by juslearnin]
Well, he at least was pretty accurate with a pistol. I also can't believe that they let him get out of the courthouse. Wasn't he on the 8th floor? It's a pain in the neck these days getting into any court because of all the security, and I can't believe they couldn't lock the place down before he got out. Also, having no shackles on a guy who they had earlier found two shivs on was not very smart. As with most disasters, this one looks multifactorial.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:00:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:10:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FREEFALLE6:
Well his ass will be on death row now.

FREE



His ass should be dead.......
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:28:42 PM EDT
it all comes down to a woman who was doing a mans job
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 9:30:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2005 9:31:21 PM EDT by jkstexas2001]

Originally Posted By Troy:
"My [insert thug's name] was a good boy who wouldn't hurt anyone." - Every Criminal's Mom

-Troy



I heard a lawyer say once to a jury, during the sentencing phase, where the defense lawyer was pointing out the fellows mother who was crying - "Don't let that effect your consideration regarding sentencing, ladies and gentlemen, even snakes and scorpions have mothers."
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:42:32 AM EDT
could someone fill me in on what "Roll on 2" means?
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:54:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 5:55:15 AM EDT by JarheadChiro]

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
could someone fill me in on what "Roll on 2" means?




Initiate electric chair.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:03:25 AM EDT
'Roll on 2'? Go see the movie 'The Green Mile'.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:06:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JarheadChiro:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
could someone fill me in on what "Roll on 2" means?




Initiate electric chair.



[green mile]Roll on 2[/green mile]

Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:10:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FREEFALLE6:
Well his ass will be on death row now.

FREE



+1
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:11:22 AM EDT
I saw the vid of him surrendering. Big and chiseled. He probably would have taken any man who was guarding him.

What the hell were those bozos in charge of court security thinking?
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:11:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 6:55:28 AM EDT by panzersergeant]
Some history on Brian Nichol's time in South Carolina taken from the "Backcountry Conservative":

"Brian Gene Nichols, 33, played football for Newberry College in the early 1990s. He was arrested on April 18, 1994, and charged with first-degree burglary, Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said. It was his only arrest in S.C., state records show.

In the 1994 burglary case, a police report said Nichols stole a VCR, portable CD player, speakers, compact discs, a watch and 11 cans of Sprite from a Cromer Hall dormitory room. The items were valued at $1,930.

Nichols still had an open 1996 arrest warrant from Newberry stemming from the burglary charge, records show.

Nichols, who had lived in the dorm, had been banned “after a series of disciplinary problems,” according to the police report.

A football program from the time period identified Nichols as 6-foot-2 defensive end from Baltimore.

But Henry Shull lived across the street from Nichols and his parents in Lexington for about three years in the mid-1990s. Shull said the family moved from the home about 10 years ago.

“I didn’t know him,” Shull said of Nichols. “I talked to his mom and dad some ... His mom and dad was real nice.”

At the time of his arrest, Nichols gave his address as 174 Freedom Drive in Lexington. The current resident, Sam Weathers, said he did not know Nichols or his family.

State Law Enforcement Division records list Nichols’ birthplace as South Carolina, but a booking report from the Newberry County Detention Center shows his birthplace as Maryland.

www.jquinton.com/
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:26:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Steve_T_M:
Ban martial arts training.



That's what they do in some communist countries...
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:28:03 AM EDT

In an early report on FOX I heard that the killed Judge allowed him (Nichols) to appear without handcuffs and regular clothes on (instead of Orange jumpsuit) so as not to have the jury prejudiced toward him? He then overpowered the deputy escorting him and went to the courtroom with her sidearm. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!????? He was going to trial for duct-taping up his ex-girlfriend and raping her repeatedly for three days, what was the judge thinking? Please, I mean no disrespect toward the dead but that was just a bad call......


Believe it is a Supreme Court ruling. Being in prison garb and shackled prejudices the jury unfavorably against the defendant. Jury of your peers...
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:40:01 AM EDT
Sounds like political correctness got a bunch of people dead. Law enforcement, like the military, is man's work.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:40:10 AM EDT
Yeah, but, he had such a good upbringing, nice parents......hacko.gif
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:45:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Ban martial arts training.

That has been tried before.


Are you serious?
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:00:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
I saw the vid of him surrendering. Big and chiseled. He probably would have taken any man who was guarding him.

What the hell were those bozos in charge of court security thinking?



Defendants can be brought into the court for preliminary proceedings in chains and handcuffs. When the actual trial starts the jury is not supposed to see them this way as it would prejudice their views. The defendant is supposed to be led into the courtroom for TRIAL before the jury is seated so he could have been restrained all the way into the room and un-shackled as they sat him down in the chair and warned him to NOT GET UP for ANY reason. Instead the judge seems to have been lax as well as the deputies. Some courts use the same deputies with the same defendants because they are familiar with their moods and body language. This court didn't seem to be on the ball. It was more like being a hall monitor in grade school. An Asian female talking head on CNN interviewed a Texas judge about judges being armed. The judge, a woman, pulled back her coat revealing a nice revolver under her arm and the newslady nearly gasped.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:05:08 AM EDT



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Ban martial arts training.

That has been tried before.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Are you serious?




Not up on Martial Arts History are you?

Here's one for ya.

Long story short-
There was this occupation thing by the Japanese some years ago of an island now known as Okinawa. After subjugating the populace they outlawed all martial training and implements of warfare. Always the nature of the subjugated, they improvised blah, blah, blah...nunchaku...blah, blah, blah...tonfa...blah, blah, blah... sai...ect,ect,ect...

We won't even go into what the Japanese did to themselves.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:42:47 AM EDT



Police say Nichols, a former computer technician who was on trial for rape



I'm sure that MA training came in handy for this scum.

I wonder how his Kung Fu will do against lethal injection?

I really hope they execute this guy quickly.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:46:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SAW_Gunner:
it all comes down to a woman who was doing a mans job


+1
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:32:35 AM EDT
shoot him or fry him!
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:15:08 AM EDT

In an early report on FOX I heard that the killed Judge allowed him (Nichols) to appear without handcuffs and regular clothes on (instead of Orange jumpsuit) so as not to have the jury prejudiced toward him?


Like posted earlier, this is a defendants right which in itself is fine. Where the problem came from in this tragedy is there was no holding cell, and the deputies were armed. From what the news said he was being held in a jury room as the courthouse was old and had no holding cells.

We had a holding cell and the sheriffs were unarmed in the court I worked in. The prisoners were brought in shackled in all but trials. When they were there for a trial they were dressed in their sunday best and shackled until just before the jury entered the room. They had to stay in their seat the whole time and once the jury left they were recuffed.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:20:24 AM EDT
I really didn't want him to give himself up, i wanted the police to kill him. Too bad, i guess that he figured that after all the people he killed they were going to come at him with everything, so he gave himself up.
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