IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

13 in Arizona ordered to testify in Nichols trial

/ Source: The Associated Press

Thirteen people connected to the men imprisoned in the Oklahoma City bombings were ordered Friday to testify in the Oklahoma state murder trial of Terry Nichols.

All 13 knew Nichols, bomber Timothy McVeigh, or Michael Fortier, a former Kingman resident who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for knowing about the plot and failing to tell authorities.

McVeigh and Nichols are believed to have lived briefly in Kingman, a small western Arizona town, before the bombing.

A judge found that none of the 13 offered good reasons to avoid testifying in the trial, taking place in McAlester, Okla. They had been subpoenaed to testify by Nichols’ defense lawyers.

In McAlester on Friday, an FBI agent testified that two days after the bombing, Nichols brought his wife and daughter to the police station in his hometown in Kansas and demanded to know why his name was on the news.

Nichols, 49, who is on trial for murder, was told investigators wanted to ask him about his relationship with McVeigh, who was already in custody in connection with the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, agent Stephen Smith said.

“I told Mr. Nichols that we had some questions for him. He said, ‘Good, because I’ve got some questions for you,”’ Smith said.

Smith and other FBI agents interviewed Nichols for nine hours on April 21, 1995, an interrogation that led to an extensive search of Nichols’ Herington, Kan., home, where authorities found explosives and other evidence that prosecutors say link him to the Oklahoma City bombing.

Smith has said that following the first interview, he believed Nichols helped McVeigh in the plot to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

McVeigh was convicted of the bombing and executed in 2001.

Nichols was convicted on federal manslaughter charges and is serving a life sentence. In Oklahoma, he is on trial for 161 state counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of the other 160 victims and one victim’s fetus. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.