Incidents » Terrorism

Terry Nichols sentenced to prison for life without parole

Terry Nicols was sentenced to life without parole for his participation in the Oklahoma bombing.
Nicols had participated with Timothy McVeigh in preparing for the bombing of the Murrah federal building, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on APRIL 19, 1995.  The blast took the lives of 168 innocent people. 

Co-Conspirator and bomber, Timothy McVeigh, was found guilty of the crime and was executed. 

Nicols, is presently serving a life sentence on federal charges of conspiracy and the involuntary manslaughter of eight federal officers who died in the blast.  The State of Oklahoma also tried Nicols and found him guilty of 168 counts of murder. 

Prosecutors proved that Nicols helped McVeigh plan the attack and his subsequent escape in a getaway car. This adds conspiracy and accomplice to Nicols problems.  

The only thing that saved Nicols life was the fact the juries in both trials could not agree on the death penalty.  

The bombing was in retaliation, carried out by two men, against the government, for the bloody end to a siege near Waco, Texas, two years earlier to the day, in which 82 members of the Branch Davidian sect died. 

The Waco Texas siege was conducted by the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) when they attempted to issue an arrest warrant for the groups leader, David Koresh.  Koresh was wanted in connection with child molesting and carnal knowledge of a minor. 

The ATF also had a search warrant because the Branch Davidians under Koresh s leadership had amassed machine guns.  A felony in the United States. 

A stand off occurred when an attempt was made to negotiate a settlement.  Koresh would not surrender, and the ATF was to forcibly issue the arrest warrants. 

When the ATF tried to serve the warrants, they were met by brutal gun fire.   

A hostile confrontation ensued and during the battle, a fire started from within the compound and all 82 members of the militant group perished. 

McVeigh and Nicols saw this as an attack by the US Government against personal freedoms to own and carry firearms, and sought retaliation against the US Government.  

They built the bomb, loaded it into a rented truck and parked the truck outside the Murrah building.  The bomb detonated and the blast tore a hole about 1/3 the size of the building in the building was a day care center and all the children in the day care center were killed. 

McVeigh was stopped for speeding on an Oklahoma highway and the trooper noticed a gun and a copy of the Turner Diaries, written by a neo-nazi and the story centered around a man bombing a federal building.  McVeigh was arrested.  Suspicions grew that McVeigh had been the bomber after he matched a police sketch of the man who had rented the Ryder truck the day before.  McVeigh was formally charged and tried.  He was found guilty and received the death penalty.

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