Defendent Kills Judge And Two Others
In yet another instance underscoring the perils that come along with being a judge, Atlanta was stunned today when a judge presiding over a rape trial was shot to death along with two other people during a trial.
This came just 11 days after the husband and mother of a judge were murdered. That case has been seemingly solved by a suicide note confession left by a man who lost a medical malpractice case due to that judge’s ruling.
In this latest incident that is certain to spark increased security at future trials all over the country:
Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor confirmed that Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and his court reporter were killed. He gave no other details in announcing the deaths in the state Senate. A deputy died later at a hospital, while a second deputy had minor wounds, police said.
The judge was shot on the eighth floor of the courthouse, while one deputy was shot on a street corner just outside the building, said Officer Alan Osborne with the Atlanta Police Department.
Witnesses said the gunman carjacked a car and authorities were searching for a green Honda Accord that was hijacked from a newspaper reporter.
More late breaking details:
Nichols was on trial before Barnes for rape, assault, kidnapping and several other felonies, police said.
One of the deputies may have been shot outside the courthouse while trying to apprehend Nichols, who also pistol-whipped a journalist during his escape.
Nicholas was being retried on rape, kidnapping and other charges after a hung jury last week, Rockwell said. A juror described his behavior in the courtroom as intense.
“Every time any of us looked up we saw him looking for our reaction, which had made us a little nervous,” juror James Bailey told CNN.
For up to the minute details on this case go to Backcountry Conservative which is doing extensive live blogging (if there is a new shred of information, he has it).
Michelle Malkin also underlines the point we make here:”The tragedy starkly highlights the risks that all judges and court officers, not just federal justices, face while upholding the rule of law.” She also provides some excellent Atlanta links.
And Crooks and Liars beat us to the punch on what we were about to write here:”Coming off the Lefkow case (see TMV’s related posts link below) I can’t remember two related judge killings so close together. I hope this doesn’t start some sick trend.”