Federal authorities are considering charging Terry Lynn Nichols, a close friend of Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy James McVeigh’s, with direct involvement in last month’s terrorist attack.
Nichols is being held in Kansas as a material witness in the case, but so far he has been accused only of conspiring with McVeigh and Nichols’ older brother, James, to build explosives at their farm in Michigan over the last several years.
The April 19 explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 167 people, and a nurse also was killed by falling debris during the rescue effort.
“There’s an awful lot of stuff pointing to his (Terry Nichols) being involved,” one law enforcement official said Monday. Evidence includes a receipt for a ton of ammonium nitrate that was found at Terry Nichols’ Herington, Kan., home with one of McVeigh’s fingerprints on it.
FBI lab experts have been comparing bits of blue plastic recovered from the bodies of some of the victims with blue plastic drums found at Nichols’ home. A second law enforcement official said Monday that the results are likely to be that the fragments are “consistent” with the plastic drums - but nothing more conclusive.
In an interview Monday night on the syndicated TV program “American Journal,” Nichols’ ex-wife, Lana Padilla, said he gave her a letter last November with instructions not to open it unless he failed to return in 60 days. He said he told her he was leaving the country for a visit to the Philippines, where his current wife is from.
According to a partial transcript provided by publicists for “American Journal,” Padilla said the letter contained instructions on how to distribute his assets if he died.