October 8, 1997 in Nation/World

Prospective Juror Zeroes In On Technical Side Of Bomb

Associated Press

A prospective juror said Tuesday he believes Terry Nichols is guilty because it probably took more than one person to build the bomb that destroyed the Oklahoma City federal building.

The man, an explosives expert with detailed knowledge of ammonium nitrate-fuel oil bombs, said he tried to learn as much as possible about the bombing because of his work.

But flaws in his knowledge of the case showed when he said Nichols accompanied Timothy McVeigh when McVeigh was arrested and likely was with McVeigh when he rented a truck that carried the bomb.

McVeigh was alone when he was arrested on an unrelated gun charge. Authorities have ruled Nichols out as the man seen with McVeigh when the truck was rented.

Defense attorney Ron Woods became angered and slammed his jury folder down on the table when U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch cut short his probing questions about his belief that more than one person was needed to build the bomb.

The man eventually acknowledged one person could have built the bomb “with some difficulty.”

The judge and lawyers spent more than an hour questioning another prospect, a young house painter who said that two people convicted of the same crime deserve the same penalty, a notion unfavorable to the defense given McVeigh’s death sentence.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email