Terry Nichols trial judge threatens intervention if progress isn't made

Saturday, September 27th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Prosecutors and defense attorneys in bombing conspirator Terry Nichols' case have about three weeks to resolve their differences over federal witnesses before the presiding judge intervenes.

``The court strongly suggests that counsel get this issue resolved without further court intervention,'' Taylor wrote in a two-page order filed Friday in Oklahoma County District Court.

Following a Monday hearing on the matter, Taylor allowed the defense to interview 61 federal employees or retirees, although prosecutors had objected to some of the witnesses.

The parties have been discussing for about four months the defense's conditional examination of federal employees who were involved in the investigation of the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The explosion resulted in 168 deaths. A federal jury convicted Nichols of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of eight federal agents and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Taylor threatened to take action at an Oct. 14 hearing if the parties haven't made substantial progress toward a resolution, a story from the Tulsa World's Capitol bureau said.

Taylor expects the attorneys to live up to those promises and for ``all counsel to be reasonable, practical, professional and fair in order to get this work done promptly,'' he wrote.