JUDGE who oversaw Oklahoma City bombing trials released from hospital

Monday, August 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ The federal judge who oversaw the Oklahoma City bombing trials was released from the hospital Saturday after undergoing treatment for an infection prior to an expected liver transplant.

Richard Matsch, 71, had been in the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center since Aug. 5, when he came down with a severe infection caused by progressive liver disease.

He went home in good condition, hospital spokeswoman Sarah Ellis said in a news release.

Matsch, who has had the disease for about two years, could receive a liver transplant within months or even weeks. He was placed on a transplant waiting list last year, and doctors say he is now among the top five on the list of Coloradans with Type-A blood who are awaiting a transplant.

The disease is an inflammatory condition that restricts bile ducts, causing a buildup of fluid that can lead to infections. Doctors don't know the cause, but they say it's not alcohol or drugs.

About 18,000 people are awaiting liver transplants in the United States but there are only enough donors to perform about 4,500 each year.

Matsch presided over the Denver trials and appeals of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and coconspirator Terry Nichols. McVeigh was executed June 11, while Nichols was sentenced to life in prison. He is now charged in Oklahoma with 160 state counts of first-degree murder for the bombing.