The judge overseeing the murder trial of accused courthouse shooter Brian Nichols said Thursday he won't step down from the case, but will ask another judge to consider a defense request to remove him.
Lawyers for defendant Brian Nichols said in court papers earlier this week that Superior Court Judge James Bodiford was quoted in a newspaper article four days after the March 11, 2005, shootings saying that he was friends with the judge killed in the rampage.
The article also said Bodiford released a statement at the time that described the death of Judge Rowland Barnes as a "brutal murder."
Nichols' lawyers questioned Bodiford's ability to be impartial, and asked that he step down.
Bodiford said at a hearing Thursday that he doesn't believe he should step down. But he said it's a good idea to let another judge review the issue.
Bodiford is serving on the Nichols case in place of a previous judge who stepped down from the case in late January after he was quoted in a magazine article saying of Nichols that "everyone in the world knows he did it."
Nichols' murder trial for the killings of four people resumes July 10.