Atlanta Shooter Nichols Gets Life Sentences

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Nichols said: "I know that the things that I've done caused a lot of pain, and I am sorry." Jurors deadlocked with nine in favor and three against the death sentence. Ironically Nichols had offered to plead guilty in return for life behind bars but prosecutors had refused.

[News Briefs]


National: Atlanta Shooter Nichols Gets Life


A Georgia judge handed Brian Nichols today four consecutive life sentences without the possibility for parole sentence today. He was convicted of killing four people, including a judge in a court room shooting in 2005. A court officer was also killed outside the court and an off-duty officer the next day.

"I will not bring dishonor to the decision to spare my life," Nichols, 37, told the court.

"I'm giving you the maximum -- every day I could give you," Superior Court Judge James Bodiford said, in the same court where the killing occurred. "If I could give you more, I would."

Nichols was on trial for rape when on March 11, 2005 he overpowered a guard and seized her weapon, killing in the court room Judge Rowland Barnes and the court reporter Julie Ann Brandau; he also was convicted on killing Sgt. Hoyt Teasley outside the courthouse and killing the next day off-duty U.S. Customs Agent David Wilhelm.

Nichols said: "I know that the things that I've done caused a lot of pain, and I am sorry."

Jurors deadlocked with nine in favor and three against the death sentence. Ironically Nichols had offered to plead guilty in return for life behind bars but prosecutors had refused.

National Brief: Rep. Jackson Again Denies Wrongdoing
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., said he met with Gov. Rod Blagojevich and presented his resume on Monday one day before the governor's arrest but that he did nothing wrong. There have been reports that emissaries for Jackson may have offered up to $1 million to the governor in return for naming him to replace President Elect Barack Obama as Illinois Senator.

"While I would be honored to serve the people of this state, it is clear to me that I am no capacity to serve them if there is a cloud over my head that seems to suggest that I am involved in some unscrupulous scheme to be a United States senator or anything else," Rep. Jackson said in an interview broadcast on CNN. Jackson said he was not involved in any "pay to play" scheme and that he didn't authorize anyone on his behalf to offer inducements for the seat.

"When it's over, I want everyone to know that I want my name back," he said. "I'm fighting now for my character, and I'm also fighting for my life," he said. "This is about my children being able to Google their name in five years and there be nothing there associated with them that suggests anything wrong."

Asked about reports about the alleged monetary inducements, Jackson said he had "nothing to offer but my record of public service."

"When the facts become clear," he added, "I think the American people will recognize that the governor of our state is a little different."

National: Global Sting Operation Against Porno
A global sting operation on pornography resulted in the arrest of 170 people, including 61 in the United States.

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the government worked with the European Union.

Joint Hammer, as the operation is called in the U.S. --it was called Operation Koala in Europe-- rescued 11 girls in the United States, ages three to 13; they had been subjected to sexual abuse, authorities said. In Europe dozens more were freed. A connection was found between pornographic producers and distributors in nearly 30 countries, the authorities said.

"This joint EU-U.S. coordinated effort began with the discovery in Europe of a father who was sexually abusing his young daughters and producing images of that abuse," Attorney General Mukasey said.

National: Oregon Bomb Kills Cop
A police officer was killed yesterday when a bomb exploded at a Woodburn, Oregon, bank branch, according to Oregon State Police.

The explosion wounded the town's police chief and a state bomb technician. Chief Scott Russell was in critical condition at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital.

Authorities did not name of dead officer. No arrests were reported. Police were looking into a suspicious device at a West Coast Bank branch when the bomb exploded. Two employees were slightly wounded. "I heard a loud kaboom," Robert Currie, who was across the street, told a CNN affiliate.

None were in the front of the bank when the explosion took place.

A Wells Fargo spokesman said earlier Friday, police investigated a bomb threat phoned to a nearby Wells Fargo Bank branch. Nothing was found, police said.


 

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