Okla. City Bomb Evidence Released
DENVER (AP) _ A federal appeals court on Monday ordered the release of evidence used in the federal trials of Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, paving the way for Oklahoma authorities to proceed with state murder charges.
A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a ban on disclosure of the evidence, saying U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch correctly ordered that evidence be turned over to state authorities at the conclusion of Nichols’ trial.
The judges said they would delay release of the evidence, however, to allow defense attorneys to appeal.
McVeigh and Nichols asked for the ban, saying there was a risk of adverse publicity in releasing information to state authorities, prejudicing any fair trial if their convictions in federal court are overturned.
``This argument hinges on a speculative, rather than concrete, potential for harm,″ the appeals court ruled.
The April 1995 bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 168 people and injured hundreds of others.
McVeigh has appealed his conviction on murder, conspiracy and weapons charges and his death sentence. Nichols has appealed his conviction on involuntary manslaughter and murder charges and his life sentence.