Nichols trial jurors recess for the weekend
December 19, 1997
Web posted at: 4:11 p.m. EST (2111 GMT)
DENVER (CNN) -- The jury weighing the fate of Terry Nichols
in the second Oklahoma City bombing trial recessed after a short session Friday and will not meet over the weekend. The jurors have deliberated since Tuesday and are not being sequestered at night.
The court held half-day sessions on Fridays during the six
weeks of trial testimony, and the judge told jurors that this
week's timetable was up to them.
Also Friday, defense and prosecution lawyers met twice with
U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch, the second time about a
note from the jury. Attorneys provided no details on what
took place in the brief meetings in the judge's chambers, and
the contents of the note were undisclosed.
It was the second such communication from jurors. On
Wednesday, they asked for a list of the nearly 200 witnesses
who testified about the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred
P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people.
Nichols faces 11 charges -- conspiracy to use a weapon of
mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction,
bombing of federal property and the murders of eight
federal law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Each
count can be punishable by a death sentence.
Unlike jurors who convicted Timothy McVeigh of murder and
conspiracy and then sentenced him to death for bombing, the
panel deciding whether Nichols is guilty of 11 identical
charges have more options.
They can consider second-degree murder or manslaughter
charges, neither of which carry the death penalty. McVeigh's
jurors, who reached their verdict after 23 1/2 hours of talks
over four days, didn't have those options.
Prosecutors contend Nichols, 42, and McVeigh, 29, worked
together for months to plot the bombing in retaliation for
the deadly FBI siege of the Branch Davidian compound near
Waco, Texas, exactly two years earlier.
The defense has argued that the two men, who met in the Army,
were merely business associates who sold army surplus items
at gun shows in the Midwest, and that Nichols knew nothing of
the bombing plot.
T H E N I C H O L S T R I A L /
T H E M c V E I G H T R I A L
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