McVeigh moved to underground cell in courthouse
Oklahoma City bombing trial begins Monday
March 29, 1997
DENVER (CNN) -- Timothy McVeigh, who goes on trial Monday on murder and conspiracy charges in the bloodiest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, was moved Saturday to a holding cell beneath the federal courtroom where the case will be heard.
McVeigh, 29, is accused of bombing the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. The April 19, 1995, attack killed 168 people. McVeigh's former Army buddy, Terry Nichols, 41, will be tried at a later date.
McVeigh was transferred from his cell at the Federal Correctional Institute in Littleton, Colorado, to the federal courthouse in downtown Denver. A source told CNN that McVeigh was moved before dawn Saturday for maximum security.
Jury selection begins Monday with the search for 12 jurors and six alternates, and the trial is expected to last as long as six months.
The holding cell that will be McVeigh's home for the duration was not designed for long-term use, so it has been modified. A kitchen, work space, shower, exercise equipment and a videocassette recorder have been installed.
Similar modifications were made for former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega when he went on trial in Miami on drug charges.
McVeigh will be tried in U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch's newly renovated second-floor courtroom, which has been outfitted with a hidden, remote closed-circuit camera so survivors and relatives of bombing victims can watch the trial in Oklahoma City.
Concrete barriers and temporary metal fencing have been erected outside, and local and federal law enforcement officers will be out in force.
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