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Reporter ordered to testify about interview in Nichols trial

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Reporter ordered to testify about interview in Nichols trial 12/15/97 COLORADO--In late November a federal judge in Denver ordered a…

Reporter ordered to testify about interview in Nichols trial

12/15/97

COLORADO–In late November a federal judge in Denver ordered a reporter for an Arkansas newspaper to testify in the trial of Terry Nichols, who stands accused of murder, conspiracy, and weapons violations in connection with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

The decision was not appealed, and Bowers testified in early December to support the accuracy of an article he wrote.

Nichols’ defense attorney, Michael Tigar, wanted Rodney Bowers, a reporter for The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, to testify about an article Bowers wrote concerning Arkansas gun collector Roger Moore. Prosecutors have accused Nichols of robbing Moore and using the proceeds from the crime to help finance the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

During testimony in Nichols’ trial, Moore denied telling Bowers that he was working for the FBI and that the alleged robbery “blew my cover.”

Democrat-Gazette attorney Tom Kelley argued that Bowers was protected from being forced to testify by a qualified reporter’s privilege.

But U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch said that since Moore’s credibility was “a rather significant point in that government’s case,” that Bowers would have to testify.

“This is a capital murder case,” Matsch instructed Kelly. “Have Mr. Bowers here.” (U.S. v. Nichols; Media Counsel: Tom Kelley, Denver)