28 November 2004
Nichols' confession revealed
The Oklahoman is reporting today that during the plea negotiations for his state trial, Terry Nichols admitted that he had had a major role in the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, and that he was unaware of anyone else besides himself, Timothy McVeigh, and Michael Fortier who had any connection to the terrorist act.
Who was in on the plot? Nichols stated:
McVeigh did the planning and was involved in all aspects of the bombing, including carrying it out.
I was involved in the gathering and storing of the components of the bomb, the testing of some of the components, going to Oklahoma City on Easter Sunday to pick up McVeigh, and the actual making of the bomb.
As to Michael Fortier, Lori Fortier, or others, I was unaware of their involvement. McVeigh was very careful to make sure that all discussions were held in private between him and I and, it seems, between him and others.
Prosecutors apparently could not use Nichols' statement against him at his state trial, since he did not testify. Judge Steven Taylor had issued a bar to releasing this and other documents connected to the trial; no one has yet said how the statement was disclosed. Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane said he wasn't the leaker, but he wasn't bothered by it either:
Although I had nothing to do with the release of this document, I cannot say that I am disappointed that the public finally gets a glimpse of my frustration with Terry Nichols, and his refusal to tell us where certain bomb-making materials are still hidden, even to this day. There was no point in talking to him any further.
Nichols has been tried twice: first on federal charges, including seven counts of murder, for which he drew life without parole; later, the state of Oklahoma tried him for the deaths of the other 161 bombing victims, for which he drew life without parole. Michael Fortier is currently serving twelve years for knowing about the bomb plot and not telling anyone, for assisting McVeigh with weapons management, and for lying to the FBI after the fact. Lori Fortier, Michael's wife, was never charged. Timothy McVeigh was executed at the Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana in 2001 for his part in the bombing.Posted at 2:09 PM to Soonerland