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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Prosecutors close case in Nichols trial

Lianne Hart Los Angeles Times

McALESTER, Okla. – From buying 2,000 pounds of fertilizer to mixing it with fuel in order to create a giant bomb, the evidence is “overwhelming” that Terry L. Nichols was the principle conspirator in the Oklahoma City bombing, prosecutors told jurors in closing statements Monday at his state murder trial.

Prosecutors contend that Nichols and his friend, executed bomber Timothy J. McVeigh, plotted to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building to avenge the 1993 federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas. Nichols and McVeigh worked as a team, prosecutors said, buying parts for the homemade-bomb in the seven months before the blast.

Overwhelming circumstantial evidence linked Nichols to the bomb plot, prosecutors said during the two-month trial.

A receipt for ammonium nitrate fertilizer, the chief component of the bomb, was found at Nichols’ home. Explosives, blasting caps and detonation cord like those used in the attack were stolen from a nearby Kansas rock quarry. A man rented a storage unit under a name that Nichols used as an alias. On the concrete floor were dark circles that authorities said were caused by containers of ammonium nitrate. Defense lawyers will give their closing statements today to contend that Nichols was at most a bit player, set up by McVeigh and other unknown conspirators to take the blame for the attack.

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