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Defense to Query Jurors in Nichols Bomb Trial

March 06, 2004|From Associated Press

McALESTER, Okla. — Prosecutors Friday wrapped up their examination of 42 prospective jurors in the state murder trial of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry L. Nichols.

Prosecutors did not reject any of the jurors after questioning them for three hours Friday about their lifestyles and beliefs. Defense attorneys question the panel Monday.

Each side will strike 12 prospective jurors from the panel, leaving 12 jurors and six alternates. Nichols' attorneys are expected to inquire about the candidates' willingness to consider Nichols' side of the story and all sentencing options.

Nichols is charged with 161 counts of first-degree murder in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but Nichols also could be sentenced to life in prison without parole or life with the possibility of parole.

Nichols already is serving a life sentence on federal bombing convictions for the deaths of eight law enforcement officers in the bombing, which killed 168 people. The state charges are for the other 160 victims and one victim's unborn child.

Prosecutors say Nichols, 48, helped Timothy J. McVeigh acquire components for the bomb, helped him build the device and robbed an Arkansas firearms dealer to finance the attack.

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