Judge Denies Mistrial Motion

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- The judge hearing the case against courthouse gunman Brian Nichols chided prosecutors for mishandling evidence of a threatening phone call, but he denied a defense motion which urged him to declare the case a mistrial.

The defense attorneys urged the judge Thursday to declare the sentencing phase a mistrial on grounds that they were not provided a transcript of a call in which Nichols appears to threaten the life of Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard before the transcript was introduced.

Superior Court Judge James Bodiford took a 20-minute recess before deciding against declaring the case a mistrial. He instead said he was "disappointed" in state prosecutors, but he found the mistake a "technical violation" that did not require a mistrial ruling.

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