Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Robert D. Nelon

First Page



The truck bomb ripped into A.P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, at 9:02 a.m. One hundred sixty-eight men, women, and children died. None knew Timothy McVeigh or Terry Lynn Nichols, nor did McVeigh and Nichols know them. In fact, Nichols was not even in Oklahoma City when the bombing occurred. He is now--occupying a special cell in the Oklahoma County Jail, awaiting trial on state charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and aiding in placing a bomb near a public building.

Nichols' trip to Oklahoma City was circuitous. Initially, separate federal proceedings against McVeigh and Nichols were tried in a federal court in Denver. When the federal court handed down merely a life sentence, Oklahoma County District Attorney, Bob Macy state, "I'm not satisfied with the outcome of the Nichols trial. I feel like he needs to be tried before an Oklahoma jury." Macy then put his words into action, filing Oklahoma state charges against Nichols and seeking the death penalty.