Terry Nichols' Request Denied

nichols
CBS
The state Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols' request to remove the district attorney's office from the case, clearing the last obstacle to resuming Nichols' state prosecution.

Attorneys for Nichols had asked that the entire DA's office be removed from the case following a ruling by the state Court of Criminal Appeals that upheld DA Bob Macy's disqualification.

But that ruling stopped short of also disqualifying his staff over allegations of professional misconduct.

In a one-paragraph order, the high court said the Court of Criminal Appeals "has exclusive jurisdiction in criminal cases" and dismissed Nichols' plea.

The State Case
In 1997, Terry Nichols was found guilt of conspiracy and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, for which he received a federal life sentence. He is also facing state murder charges. But there have been problems with a prosecutor.
  • Feb. 12, 2001 Oklahoma Supreme dismisses Terry Nichols' request to drop the entire Oklahoma County DA's office from the case, removing the last obstacle to resuming Nichols' prosecution.
  • Dec. 2000 Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upholds lower court's decision to remove DA Bob Macy from the case. But the court says there is no evidence that his assistants could not fulfill their responsibilities.
  • Oct. 2000 District Court Judge Ray Dean Linder removes Macy and all of his assistants from Nichols' prosecution. Linder rules that Macy had violated the rules of professional conduct as well as a gag order that prohibits anyone directly involved with the case from discussing it.
    (AP, Reteurs)

  • In December, the criminal appeals court said there was no evidence that Macy's assistants could not fulfill their responsibilities and that Macy's first assistant, John Jacobsen, "will be able to perform the duties of the district attorney if the district attorney is disqualified."

    Jacobsen did not return a telephone call to his office.

    Nichols, 45, was convicted in federal court and sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter and conspiracy in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people and injured more than 500.

    He is awaiting trial in state court in Oklahoma on murder charges that could bring the death penalty.

    In October, District Judge Ray Dean inder ordered Macy and his assistants off the case because of public comments by Macy that were deemed a "blatant violation of the rules of professional conduct."

    Linder ruled that Macy had violated the rules of professional conduct as well as a gag order that prohibits anyone directly involved with the case from discussing it.

    Among other public comments, in an interview with CBS News last April, Macy said: "I've sent several people to death row for killing one person. I certainly feel that death would be the appropriate punishment for killing 19 babies."

    Nineteen children were among the bombing's 168 victims.

    But the state Court of Criminal Appeals said the judge could not bar Macy's underlings from trying the case because the improper remarks involved mainly Macy, not his staff.

    In a one-paragraph order, the Supreme Court said Monday that the Court of Criminal Appeals "has exclusive jurisdiction in criminal cases" and dismissed Nichols' plea.

    Nichols was brought to Oklahoma City on Jan. 31, 2000, from Colorado, where he was serving a life prison sentence for his federal conviction on eight first-degree manslaughter counts and conspiracy charges.

    No hearings have been scheduled in the case.



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