Facts of the Crime:
Nichols was sentenced to death on May 12, 1990 for the January 30, 1988 killing of 21-year-old Karen Pulley. He broke into Pulley's Chattanooga home, raped her, and hit her in the head with a board at least four times. The victim suffered skull fractures and massive brain injuries and died the following day. In addition to the death sentence, Nichols received a 60-year sentence for aggravated rape and a 15-year sentence for first-degree burglary, both in connection with the attack on Pulley.