Terry Nichols Convicted in Bombing
Terry Nichols was convicted on Dec. 23 of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the Oklahoma City bombing, but the jury was unable to reach a decision on his sentence. That meant the decision went to U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch, who by law cannot impose the death penalty.
Jury forewoman Niki Deutchman told reporters that prosecutors "did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that Nichols was guilty of murder, and she criticized the government for "dropping the ball" on investigating other possible conspirators.
Her comments enraged many victims' family members, but others agreed that Nichols had had less of a role in the plot than Timothy McVeigh, who was earlier sentenced to death.
Deutchman received three bomb threats after speaking out, even as some antigovernment activists portrayed her as a heroine standing up to government pressure.
Meanwhile, an Oklahoma grand jury continued to investigate a possible larger conspiracy, while a state prosecutor vowed to try McVeigh and Nichols on state murder charges that could bring the death penalty.