- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 23, 2004

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — Fuses and barrels like those used to create the bomb that destroyed the Oklahoma City federal building were introduced into Terry Nichols’ murder trial yesterday, and jurors were told the materials were found at his home after the deadly blast.

FBI lawyer Mary Jasnowski testified that the four 55-gallon drums, white with blue rims, and the three pieces of Primadet detonation cord were found at Nichols’ home in Kansas three days after the 1995 bombing.

Prosecutors say fuel-oil-soaked ammonium nitrate fertilizer was loaded into drums to create the bomb, which was set off by igniting detonation cords attached to blasting caps.

Miss Jasnowski also testified that FBI agents found 30 firearms at Nichols’ home in Herington, Kan., along with about 60 gold and silver coins, and $10,000 in cash stored beneath a mattress and in a bag in a bedroom closet.

In his opening statements Monday, defense attorney Brian Hermanson had said Nichols was trying to establish a gun-show business.

Miss Jasnowski said agents also found a videotape titled “Waco — The Big Lie,” involving the government siege at the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, Texas.

Prosecutors say Nichols conspired with Timothy McVeigh to build the bomb in revenge for the Waco siege exactly two years earlier, in which about 80 people were killed. Miss Jasnowski had testified Monday that agents also found a receipt for 2,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate at the home and discovered traces of the fertilizer.

Prosecutors say Nichols stole blasting caps to set off the explosion that killed 168 persons.

Prosecutor Lou Keel opened his case Monday by telling jurors that Nichols hated the federal government and worked with McVeigh to assemble the “huge, monstrous bomb.”

Mr. Hermanson countered in his opening statement that McVeigh and other conspirators were responsible for the bombing and Nichols was manipulated by McVeigh to take the blame.

“Timothy McVeigh set him up so McVeigh could cover up the others who acted in this conspiracy,” Mr. Hermanson said.

Nichols, 48, already is serving a life sentence on federal charges for the deaths of eight federal law officers in the April 19, 1995, blast at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The 161 state charges are for the 160 other victims and one victim’s fetus.

Prosecutors brought the state charges hoping to send Nichols to the death chamber for his role in the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil at the time. McVeigh was executed in 2001.

The defense plans to show that Nichols was a patsy for a shadowy group of conspirators, possibly including members of the white supremacist and antigovernment group Aryan Republican Army.

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