McALESTER, Okla. – Attorneys for Oklahoma City bombing (search) conspirator Terry Nichols (search) sought dismissal of the state murder case against him Monday, claiming prosecutors failed to turn over information relevant to his defense.
Judge Steven Taylor, who is presiding over Nichols' trial, took no immediate action on the motion.
Defense attorneys have sought to prove that Nichols took the blame for others who helped Timothy McVeigh (search) with the bombing. McVeigh was executed after being convicted of federal charges.
Nichols, also convicted of federal charges but sentenced to life in prison, is being tried in state court on 161 first-degree murder charges for the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building on April 19, 1995. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty.
Testimony continued Monday with defense attorneys cross-examining Nichols' second wife, Marife Torres.
Taylor said at the start of jury selection on March 1 that he was assured that all relevant documents had been provided to defense attorneys. He said that if he determined any exculpatory material had been withheld, he would dismiss the case.
The defense motion said the judge was misled.
"The federal government and state prosecutors have withheld — and continue to withhold — critical information from the defense that shows that Timothy McVeigh was aided by persons other than Terry Nichols in his plot to bomb the Murrah building," the motion said.
The motion claims prosecutors have withheld a video showing suspects leaving the Ryder rental truck that delivered the bomb just over three minutes before the detonation. No such video has been shown to exist.
It also claims prosecutors failed to disclose a phone call McVeigh made to a right-wing enclave in Oklahoma known as Elohim City after he rented the Ryder truck. Allegations have surfaced over the years that McVeigh might have received help from people living there.
The motion also says prosecutors did not provide defense attorneys with documents disclosed in a series of Associated Press stories raising the possibility of additional accomplices in the bombing.
Those documents included two 1990s teletypes from then-FBI Director Louis Freeh's office citing possible connections between McVeigh and a gang of white supremacist bank robbers.
District Attorney Wes Lane, whose office is prosecuting the case, has said Nichols' defense team has been given all the documents he has received from the federal government.
Nichols, 49, was convicted in 1997 of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy charges for the deaths of eight federal law enforcement officers in the bombing. In Oklahoma, he is charged with the deaths of the other 160 victims and one victim's fetus.