OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A hearing will start May 5th to determine whether enough evidence exists to try Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols on 160 counts of murder, a judge said Wednesday.
District Judge Charles Allen McCall, the third named to preside over pretrial proceedings, said he hoped to conclude the hearing by the end of June.
Nichols, already convicted of federal involuntary manslaughter charges and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombing, faces the death penalty if found guilty on the state charges.
The hearing had been set to start on Monday but was postponed after District Judge Ray Dean Linder stepped down Nov. 22. Linder presided for 27 months before he recused himself, citing frustration with the slow pace of the case.
Linder replaced Associate District Judge Robert Murphy Jr. of Stillwater, who was disqualified from the case in 2000 at the request of prosecutors.
The April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 168 people and injured more than 500 in one of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil.
Timothy McVeigh was convicted of federal murder charges in the bombing and was executed in June 2001.