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Hearing Scheduled in Nichols Case

February 26, 2001

OKLAHOMA CITY _ The judge who dismissed the district attorney from the team prosecuting Terry Nichols wants to know if the lawyer’s staff is preventing him from influencing the case.

Judge Ray Dean Linder scheduled a hearing Monday to review District Attorney Bob Macy’s disqualification and how Macy is being screened from Nichols’ prosecution on 160 counts of first-degree murder for the April 19, 1995, federal building bombing.

Linder removed Macy and his entire office from Nichols’ prosecution in October after ruling that Macy had violated the rules of professional conduct as well as a gag order that prohibits anyone directly involved with the case from discussing it.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in December upheld Macy’s disqualification but declined to disqualify his staff. The court said Macy’s first assistant, John Jacobsen, could lead the office’s prosecution team in Macy’s absence.

At a hearing last week, Assistant District Attorney Sandra Howell-Elliott said steps have been taken to prevent Macy from having access to evidence in the case and to prevent prosecutors from discussing the case with Macy.

Nichols, 45, was brought to Oklahoma City on Jan. 31, 2000, from Colorado, where he was serving a life imprisonment sentence for his federal conviction on eight involuntary manslaughter counts and conspiracy.

Nichols is charged with a total of 163 state charges including the murder counts. The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Separately, a federal jury convicted co-conspirator Timothy McVeigh on murder and conspiracy charges in the bombing. He is awaiting execution.

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