Judge To Decide Nichols' Motions
Mar. 28, 2001
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Terry Nichols' attorneys say publicity about the Oklahoma City bombing and his federal conviction will make it impossible for him to get a fair trial on state charges.
The publicity, they planned to argue Wednesday before a state judge, has deprived Nichols of his constitutional right to a presumption of innocence and thus the 160 counts of first-degree murder against him should be dismissed.
Judge Ray Dean Linder denied a separate motion to dismiss the state charges following two days of hearings last week. His lawyers had argued it would be unconstitutional to try him in state court because a federal court has already convicted him.
State prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Nichols, 45. He was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in federal court of conspiracy and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Nichols' federal conviction involved the deaths of eight federal law officers. The state charges cover the 160 other people who died in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.
Nichols' co-defendant, Timothy McVeigh, was convicted of federal murder charges and sentenced to death.