Opening statements in McVeigh trial could begin ThursdayApril 18, 1997
Web posted at: 1:45 p.m. EDT (1745 GMT)
DENVER (CNN) -- Opening statements in the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Timothy McVeigh are expected to begin Thursday, CNN has learned.
Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the jury selection process -- now in its third week -- had nearly wrapped up and that a panel of 12 jurors and six alternates would be seated by day's end Tuesday.
Prosecutors would begin their opening statements two days later, the sources said.
The news comes almost exactly two years after the explosion which gutted the Alfred P. Murrah building, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds of others.
According to the sources, U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch had hoped to seat a jury by Monday, but attorneys were unable to meet that deadline.
Matsch, prosecutors and defense attorneys have questioned an average of six or seven prospective jurors a day out of a field of about 350 potential candidates.
Security, meanwhile, has been stepped up at the Denver courthouse for Saturday's twin anniversaries of the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 Waco siege.
If found guilty of the bombing, McVeigh could face the death penalty.
T H E B O M B I N G / C N N S T O R I E S / L I N K S
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