Your Influence Counts ... Use It! The SPOTLIGHT by Liberty Lobby

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Nichols may testify in bombing case

  • The next Oklahoma City bombing trial is set to begin September 29.
By Mike Blair

Receiving different legal representation than his codefendant in the Oklahoma City bombing case, Terry Nichols may finally break the curtain of near-silence that has thus far goes to trial.

Timothy J. McVeigh was found guilty in June of conspiracy and murder for bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Some 500 were injured and 168 lost their lives in the attack.
Sources close to the court proceedings have told The SPOTLIGHT that Nichols' defense counsel, Michael Tigar, will be far more aggressive in the defense of his client than Stephen Jones proved to be for McVeigh.

"I make no extravagant promises.' he said. "We'll see what happens."

As the trial looms, however, Tigar has challenged the federal prosecution to let jurors hear a 9-hour interview that his client had with the FBI after his arrest. Tigar obviously believes the statement will be damaging to the prosecution's case.

"I dare them to put in every word that Nichols said,' the defense attorney stated. "Everything was true."

Many believe one of the most damaging parts of the McVeigh trial was the defendant's total silence.

Tigar is expected to present the human side of his defendant and witnesses. He has stated that courtroom technology, such as video screens used to display evidence in the McVeigh trial, can often distract jurors from the "human elements" involved.

Tigar is also aware of the telling impact that emotional testimony, heart- wrenching stories of bombing victims and survivors, used extensively by the prosecution, had on the jury in the McVeigh trial.

While McVeigh's lawyer did little to block such repetitive, emotional testimony, Tigar legal experts predict, will be more forceful in preventing it. One legal expert, familiar with Tigar's courtroom style, said that he believed Nichols will in fact be a witness in his one defense.