State judge rejects double-jeopardy defense in Oklahoma City bombing

Thursday, March 22nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Michigan native Terry Nichols may face another murder trial.

A judge in Oklahoma City refused yesterday to dismiss 160 counts of first-degree murder charges against Nichols. The counts stem from the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Attorneys for Nichols say he's already been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in federal court, and he shouldn't have to face state charges too. The 45-year-old Nichols is serving a life prison term.

But the judge says the Oklahoma counts are separate because they stem from the deaths of the 160 civilians killed in the explosion. The federal convictions were for the deaths of eight federal employees.

Prosecutors say Nichols conspired with Timothy McVeigh in the bombing of the federal building. McVeigh is scheduled for execution on May 16th at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.