Defense witnesses began testimony Tuesday in the case against Brian Nichols. On March 11, 2005, Nichols was on trial for rape when he allegedly overpowered a deputy, took her gun, and went into the Fulton County, Georgia, courtroom and shot both the judge and a court reporter. Nichols is also charged with killing a sheriff’s deputy outside the courthouse and a federal agent a few miles from the courthouse.
In his taped confession, Nichols said Federal Agent David Wilhelm pulled a gun on him. He also said actually pulled the trigger to try to shoot him. Nichols claimed he heard a click, that the gun misfired and he shot and killed Wilhelm in self-defense but prosecutors say that is impossible. Wilhelm wore thick rubber work gloves that night and it would have been impossible to fire a gun while wearing them. According to ballistics expert witness Bernadette Davy, Wilhelm’s weapon did not misfire.