Sitting beside the Survivor Tree, the scorched elm that survived the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Ken Thompson and John L. Cole said it was easy to say why Terry L. Nichols, already serving a life sentence in a federal prison for conspiracy and manslaughter, should stand trial in a state court on murder charges that could send him to death row. The reasons, they said, were Mr. Thompson’s mother, Virginia, and Mr. Cole’s two toddler godsons, Aaron Coverdale and his brother, Elijah. They, along with 165 other people and one victim’s fetus, were killed in the blast that prosecutors say Mr. Nichols helped Timothy J. McVeigh set off on the busy Wednesday morning of April 19 to vent their hatred of the government on the second anniversary of the F.B.I. assault at Waco. But beyond that, said Mr. Thompson, an executive with an antiterrorism institute founded here after the bombing, “I just want the truth to come out.” Two lengthy federal trials in Denver in 1997 and the execution of Mr. McVeigh in 2001 would seem to have done that. Full Story
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