High security costs for Terry Nichols' trial in McAlester

Sunday, January 4th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Security costs for the upcoming trial of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols could exceed $500,000.

Security estimates obtained by The Oklahoman show that Pittsburg County Sheriff Jerome ``Snookie'' Amaranto wants funds to pay 25 officers to guard Nichols. Amaranto also wants around-the-clock security at the courthouse once the trial begins.

He also wants funding to train and pay an officer to screen all courthouse-bound mail starting February 1st. Under the proposal, the guards would be paid $20 an hour.

Nichols is scheduled to go to trial on 161 counts of first-degree murder on March 1st. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The trial is expected to last at least five months.