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Oklahoma City Bombing Trials: 1997-98 - Nichols's Trial

fortier mcveigh terry testified

When the case against Terry Nichols began on September 17, store clerks, testifying as prosecution witnesses, verified receipts for the purchase of an unusually large amount of fertilizer. Although the clerks could not identify Nichols as the buyer, the receipts—which had been found in Nichols's home—were for a purchase of two tons of ammonium nitrate, a primary component of the Oklahoma City bomb.

Michael Fortier testified that he had seen explosives in Nichols's pickup truck, but admitted that he had seen his former friend only infrequently before the bombing. During McVeigh's trial, Fortier testified that Nichols attempted to back out of the plot a month before the bombing. "Tim told me that Terry no longer wanted to help him mix the bomb," Fortier had said. "He went on to say that Terry would have to help him because he's in it so far up 'til now." Fortier did not repeat the claim at Nichols's trial nor did he specifically identify Nichols as the accomplice with whom McVeigh claimed to be planning on blowing up a federal building. As McVeigh's attorneys had done, Nichols's lawyers portrayed Michael Fortier as a lying drug addict whose testimony should not be considered credible.

Nichols's ex-wife was called by the defense as a sympathetic witness. When she testified that she had found a letter in which Nichols urged McVeigh to "go for it" five months before the bombing, however, observers wondered if putting her on the stand had been a defense blunder.

Oklahoma City Bombing Trials: 1997-98 - Mixed Verdict [next] [back] Oklahoma City Bombing Trials: 1997-98 - Mcveigh's Trial

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