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Tim McVeigh asks for new trial


Adverse publicity, juror misconduct, other issues cited

July 7, 1997
Web posted at: 5:00 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT)

DENVER (CNN) -- Timothy McVeigh, sentenced to death for the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history, asked for a new trial Monday in motions filed with U.S. District Court.

McVeigh's request for a new trial is based on the contention that the judge failed to grant a continuance before the trial began and a challenge of the jury selection process. It also contests a ruling that forbade testimony from a former ATF informant, and another that did not allow the defense to use a report critical of the FBI lab.

McVeigh was convicted of murder in June for the April 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building that killed 168 people.


His attorney, Rob Nigh, arrived in court Monday carrying boxes of material to support the motion. Nigh -- not lead attorney Stephen Jones -- filed the motions.

Sources say the defense also will question some aspects of the trial that referred to co-defendant Terry Nichols, and will also raise the possibility of juror misconduct.

McVeigh's lawyers are expected to argue that their client did not receive a fair trial because of adverse publicity surrounding reports of an alleged confession. The reports were published in the weeks before the trial began.

Defense claims informant warned of bombing

The defense contends it was stymied from using a wider conspiracy theory when the court refused to hear testimony from former ATF informant Carol Howe. Howe's attorney has said Howe passed on information that a federal facility would be bombed weeks before the blast.

During the trial, McVeigh also wanted the jury to hear evidence about problems with the FBI crime lab. Judge Matsch would only allow the part of the report that referred to work on McVeigh's case.

No immediate response is expected from the prosecution.

McVeigh, meanwhile, is in federal prison at Englewood, Colorado, awaiting formal sentencing.

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