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Rudolph prosecutors seek June 2004 trial date

Defense attorneys for accused bomber likely to seek later date

From Henry Schuster

Rudolph after he was captured on May 31.
Rudolph after he was captured on May 31.

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Eric Rudolph
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

(CNN) -- Federal prosecutors in Alabama want accused bomber Eric Rudolph to go on trial in June of next year, according to a motion filed in federal court, but defense attorneys say it is likely they will ask for more time.

Rudolph will stand trial for the bombing the New Woman, All Women Health Care Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, in January 1998. Birmingham police Officer Robert Sanderson was killed by the bomb, while a nurse was critically injured.

Rudolph has pleaded innocent to the charge. The government is expected to ask for the death penalty in that case.

Rudolph, 36, is also charged in the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta that killed one and injured more than 100, as well as bombings the next year in Atlanta at an abortion clinic and a gay nightclub.

Rudolph's defense attorneys said Thursday they expect to file a motion next week asking for a later trial date.

"The problem is they haven't given us all the discovery materials even they think we are entitled to," said Bill Bowen, one of Rudolph's lawyers.

The prosecution said it has given defense attorneys 15,000 interviews done by the FBI, as well as 40 binders of photos and memoranda, and that it expects to turn over all evidence relating to the Atlanta case by the end of this year.

Defense attorneys had requested a number of documents from the Atlanta case earlier this summer, telling the judge they wanted to explore the possibility someone else may have been responsible for the bombings there.

"If everything went perfectly, perhaps we could meet the June deadline," Bowen said, but he doesn't think the defense team will have had time to prepare its case by then.

"I think everybody wants to get it over with," Bowen told CNN, but "the government has had five years to prepare its case."

Rudolph was arrested May 31 in Murphy, North Carolina, after being a fugitive for more than five years. He is awaiting trial in the Jefferson County, Alabama, jail.

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