Prosecutors: Nichols' 'choices' warrant death sentence
January 5, 1998
Web posted at: 1:12 p.m. EST (1812 GMT)
DENVER (CNN) -- Prosecutors seeking the death sentence for
Terry Nichols concluded their closing arguments Monday by
telling jurors that Nichols' choices caused 168 people to die
in the Oklahoma City bombing.
"He knew that death was a possibility and he didn't care,"
said prosecutor Beth Wilkinson.
Wilkinson said that for seven months leading up to the
April 19, 1995, truck bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal
Building, Nichols had acted in "reckless
disregard" for human life.
"Terry Nichols made choices starting in September of 1994
when he was with Timothy McVeigh and McVeigh asked him to
join the conspiracy to bomb the Murrah Building and kill the
people inside," Wilkinson told the jurors. "Everyone else
said no. Terry Nichols said yes.
The prosecution team arrives Monday
"If Terry Nichols had said no to Timothy McVeigh, we might
not be here today," she said. "No one else said yes. Because
of the choice he made, there were 168 consequences -- 168
dead people within seconds of 9:02 a.m."
Court recessed following the closing arguments. The defense
will present its summation when proceedings resume. The jury
of seven women and five men was expected to begin
deliberating whether Nichols should live or die sometime
The jury, which already has convicted the 42-year-old
defendant of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction,
can recommend one of three options: the death penalty, life
in prison with no chance of parole or a lesser sentence to be
determined by Matsch.
Nichols also was convicted on eight counts of involuntary
manslaughter, an offense punishable by six years in prison.
Matsch will decide on a sentence for those offenses.
Nichols' Army buddy McVeigh, 29, was convicted on all 11
counts in the original indictment, including conspiracy,
bombing the building and eight counts of first-degree murder
in the deaths of eight federal law officers.
McVeigh detonated the bomb. Nichols was home in Herrington,
Kansas, at the time of the attack.
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