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Fortier Seeks Less Time in Bombing

May 14, 1999

DENVER (AP) _ Lawyers for Michael Fortier argued that his 12-year sentence in the Oklahoma City bombing should be reduced, claiming he never knew that money he raised helped pay for the attack.

Michael McGuire told the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday that Fortier was ``reckless″ for not warning authorities before the 1995 blast that killed 168 people and injured more than 500 others.

Fortier, 30, pleaded guilty to failing to alert authorities to the plot. He testified against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols and admitted helping McVeigh sell stolen weapons and lying to FBI agents.

But McGuire said McVeigh and Nichols never told his client how they planned to use the money raised from selling weapons at gun shows.

``There was no agreement or condition or anything,″ he told the three-judge panel, noting that the bombing happened months later. ``It all happened too far after the fact.″

The money provided by Fortier, McGuire argued, should not have been used as grounds for his 12-year sentence.

Prosecutors argued Fortier knew the money would be used to help pay the expenses of McVeigh and Nichols as they roamed the Southwest, stealing explosives and guns to carry out the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil.

They also argued Fortier’s sentence already had been reduced from 14 years to 12 years for his ``substantial assistance″ at trial.

A ruling is not expected for several months.

McVeigh was sentenced to death for the bombing, and Nichols received a life prison sentence.

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