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Bombing defendant demands materials from more than 150 news organizations

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials

    NMU         OKLAHOMA         Confidentiality/Privilege         Jan 5, 2000    

Bombing defendant demands materials from more than 150 news organizations

  • An attorney for Terry Nichols, who has been charged with murder in the 1995 bombing of a federal building, has subpoenaed multiple newspapers and television and radio stations for stories spanning nearly five years.

More than 150 news organizations in Oklahoma have been served with subpoenas by Brian Hermanson, the attorney representing Terry Nichols. Nichols faces a state murder trial for his participation in the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

The Tulsa World, The Daily Oklahoman, and the Hugo Daily News are challenging the subpoenas in court, and the Oklahoma Press Association plans to challenge the subpoenas as well.

Hermanson subpoenaed 159 newspapers, television and radio stations across Oklahoma for news accounts of the bombing, including all articles, news stories, photographs, letters to the editor, cartoons, diagrams, editorials, advertisements, and “any other coverage of any kind” involving Nichols, Timothy McVeigh, and Michael Fortier. McVeigh has been sentenced to death for his role in the bombing, and Fortier has pleaded guilty to bombing-related charges.

The subpoenas demand all such materials published on April 19, 1995 or any date since that date by Feb. 1.

Nichols faces 160 counts of first-degree murder in state court. He is serving a life sentence in Colorado for his federal conspiracy conviction.

(Oklahoma v. Nichols; Counsel for the Oklahoma Press Association: Michael Minnis, Oklahoma City)

© 2000 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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