Nichols judge moves up deadline for questioning witnesses

Thursday, October 16th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Attorneys for Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols must complete questioning of federal witnesses a week earlier than previously announced.

Judge Steven Taylor moved up the deadline to complete the questioning to February sixth. Taylor gave no reason for changing the deadline from February 13th.

Taylor set the deadline after saying dismissing state murder charges against Nichols, or prohibiting the state from seeking the death penalty, are options if the federal government doesn't make potential witnesses available to defense attorneys.

Defense attorneys say they may try to interview nearly 150 former or current federal employees to prepare for trial.

Nichols faces trial beginning March first in McAlester on 161 state counts of first-degree murder for his role in the 1995 bombing.