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Jury weighs fate of courthouse killer

  • Story Highlights
  • Jury beginning second day of deliberations in Brian Nichols case
  • Nichols was convicted of killing four people during escape from courthouse
  • Prosecutor's adjectives for Nichols: coldblooded, vicious, remorseless, dangerous
  • Defense contended killer has mental disorder
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A jury began a second day of deliberations Wednesday for Brian Nichols, convicted last month in the 2005 shooting deaths of four people, including three at a downtown Atlanta courthouse.

Brian Nichols was found guilty of murdering four people and now could face the dealth penalty.

Nichols, 36, was convicted of killing a judge and a court reporter in the Fulton County Courthouse, where he was being tried for rape.

He also was convicted of killing a sheriff's deputy outside the courthouse and a federal agent in northern Atlanta. He was taken into custody, 26 hours after his escape, in neighboring Gwinnett County, where he held a woman hostage in her apartment.

Prosecutor Clint Rucker called Monday for Nichols to be sentenced to death on the 54 counts.

"If you give him life and not death, especially given everything he's done, he will have nothing to lose and everything to gain because he is not finished yet," Rucker told the jury. "He did it once and he will do it again. He is conniving, he is coldblooded, he is vicious and he is remorseless and he is extremely, extremely dangerous."

The defense said Nichols, who confessed to the killings, suffered from a mental disorder.

During the penalty phase of Nichols' trial, jurors heard emotional testimony from relatives of the shooting victims.

They also heard about Nichols' middle-class childhood in Baltimore, Maryland; his relationship with the woman who accused him of raping her; and his thwarted attempts to escape from jail as he awaited trial.

In the nearly two years since the jurors were called to hear the case, more than 1,000 pieces of evidence have been submitted and more than 140 witnesses have testified.

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