Opening Arguments in Nichols Trial

(McAlester-AP) -- Prosecutors say Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols had more to do with gathering the components of the bomb than did Timothy McVeigh. Opening statements began today in Nichols' state murder trial in Pittsburg County District Court in McAlester.

Assistant district attorney Lou Keel says Nichols twice went to
a Kansas co-op and each time bought 2,000 pounds of ammonium
nitrate used in the bomb. And Keel says it was Nichols who went to
a Kansas rock quarry and stole blasting caps used to detonate the
truck-bomb.

Keel said the two committed the crime out of bitter hatred for
the government and the government raid at the Branch Davidian
Compound at Waco, Texas, exactly two years before the bombing.

Opening statements were delayed for about an hour-and-a-half
because of a problem with three jurors. The three are distantly
related to an assistant district attorney who isn't part of the
prosecution team, but had a consulting role during jury selection.

The three were dismissed and Judge Steven Taylor criticized
prosecutor's for not revealing the problem earlier. Taylor says
he'll dismiss the case if the court runs out of jurors.


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