Suit against trial's judge thrown out

Associated Press
Brian Nichols: Accused courthouse shooter has had his trial delayed repeatedly because of funding and defense issues.

ATLANTA --- The Georgia Supreme Court on Friday threw out a district attorney's lawsuit against the judge overseeing accused courthouse shooter Brian Nichols' murder case.

 

The lawsuit, which sought to force jury selection to resume in Mr. Nichols' murder trial and questioned whether presiding Judge Hilton Fuller should be removed from the case, should have been filed first in Superior Court, the high court said.

Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears wrote that despite the ruling, she is disappointed with the progress of the Nichols case.

"As officers of the court, counsel for both the prosecution and the defense have professional responsibilities, not only to their clients, but to the judicial system itself," a concurrence by Chief Justice Sears and another justice states.

Chief Justice Sears urged the attorneys and the judge "to re-examine their actions thus far in light of their professional duties and to proceed in a manner calculated to achieve a fair and expeditious resolution of this matter."

The Nov. 1 lawsuit challenged the authority of the judiciary and promised further delays in the case had it gone forward.