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Friday, October 14, 2005

CBS 46 Atlanta - Slain judge's widow sues sheriff, deputies

CBS 46 Atlanta - Slain judge's widow sues sheriff, deputiesSlain judge's widow sues sheriff, deputies
Oct 13, 2005, 03:40 PM

ATLANTA (AP) -- The wife of the judge killed in the shooting rampage at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta has filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Myron Freeman and other members of his staff.

The wrongful death suit, filed yesterday on behalf of Claudia Barnes, singles out eight sheriff's employees.

They are accused of violating department policies and failing to protect her husband -- Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes.

Rape suspect Brian Nichols is charged with killing Barnes, the judge in his trial at the time, court reporter Julie Ann Brandau and Sergeant Hoyt Teasley. He's also accused of shooting and killing federal agent David Wilhelm in Buckhead later that day.

Former deputy Sergeant Jerome Dowdell, who lost an appeal to get his job back this week, is among those named in the suit.

The lawsuit is expected to seek (m) millions of dollars, although an amount was NOT mentioned in the suit.

The suit alleges that deputies failed to properly monitor cameras in the Fulton County Courthouse or investigate an incident in which metal devices were found on Nichols two days before the shootings.

It also claims they did NOT have the proper number of deputies guarding Nichols, a former college football player and martial artist.

Nichols is accused of overpowering 51-year-old Deputy Cynthia Hall and stealing her gun.

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