Claudia Barnes, the widow of slain Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland W. Barnes, has put the county government and the sheriff’s department on notice of her intent to sue for damages arising from the death of her husband.

The judge died on the morning of March 11 as he sat on the bench in Georgia conducting a civil hearing. Authorities say 33-year-old Brian G. Nichols, a rape defendant who overpowered the deputy guarding him in a holding-cell area, walked into the courtroom from a chambers door, shot Barnes and then turned the gun on a court reporter, Julie A. Brandau.

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