Front Page







World Summary

On Air


Talking Point


Text Only


Site Map

Saturday, November 29, 1997 Published at 08:39 GMT


'Key evidence' in Oklahoma bombing trial
image: [ The prosecution displays evidence ]
The prosecution displays evidence

Prosecutors in the Oklahoma City bombing trial have said they have a key piece of evidence linking defendant Terry Nichols to the 1995 blast that killed 168 people.

They have found a piece of wood which they allege connects him to the bomb.

This is the second Oklahoma bombing trial. In June, Timothy McVeigh was convicted of 11 murder and conspiracy charges. He is appealing against his conviction.

Mr Nichols faces the same charges, if found guilty he could be sentenced to death.

The prosecution

The prosecutors showed the jurors a small piece of wood panelling which they said was embedded with ammonium nitrate crystals.

They allege these are the same crystals as found in the fertiliser used in the bomb, and also found at Nichols home. The wood was discovered by the FBI acoss the road from the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, which was destroyed in the attack.

The prosecutors have said the wood comes from the side of a rented truck used to transport the bomb.

[ image: Terry Nichols faces 11 counts of murder and conspiracy]
Terry Nichols faces 11 counts of murder and conspiracy
Mr Nichols, 42, was at home with his family in Kansas when an explosion occurred. The prosecution maintains that he built the bomb with Timothy McVeigh.

The defence

But defence lawyers said the evidence was unreliable because government agents had dealt with it improperly.

Head lawyer for the defence, Michael Tigar, attacked the FBI's scientific investigation and agent Ronald Kelly has admitted that the FBI failed properly to document evidence.

The mistakes include not listing all the photographs that were on the diagram of the crime scene.

The defence hopes that any doubt about the investigation left in the jury's minds will give Terry Nichols a better chance of escaping the death penalty.

After 18 days of testimony the prosecution is coming to the end of its evidence. Its final witness is expected to be one of the survivors from the bombing in Oklahoma City.

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Related Stories

The Oklahoma bombing: second suspect on trial

Internet Links

FBI Homepage

Oaklahoma Bombing - The New American - special report

Sightings - The Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City

Images of Terror - Oklahoma City Bombing

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.