D.A. Disqualified From Nichols Trial

ByABC News
December 22, 2000, 5:25 PM

O K L A H O M A  C I T Y, Dec. 22 -- A state appeals court ruled today that thedistrict attorney in Oklahoma City cannot take part in theprosecution of bombing defendant Terry Nichols on murder charges,but his office can.

In October, a judge ordered District Attorney Bob Macy and hisassistants off the case because of public comments by Macy thatwere deemed a blatant violation of the rules of professionalconduct.

But the state Court of Criminal Appeals said the judge could notbar Macys underlings from trying the case because the improperremarks involved mainly Macy, not his staff.

Disqualification of an entire office cannot be based uponspeculation, the court said.

Macy did not immediately return calls for comment.

Death Would Be the Appropriate PunishmentNichols, 45, is charged with murder in the April 19, 1995,bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168people. Macy brought the state charges after Nichols was convictedin federal court but escaped the death penalty.

Among other things, Macy told CBS in April: Ive sent severalpeople to death row for killing one person. I certainly feel thatdeath would be the appropriate punishment for killing 19 babies.Nineteen children were among the bombing victims.

The defense argued that Macys remarks could prevent Nicholsfrom getting a fair trial. Macy contended there was no evidencethey would affect the jurys fact-finding process.

A federal jury in Denver found Nichols guilty of manslaughterand conspiracy in the bombing. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Timothy McVeigh was convicted separately of murder and weaponsoffenses and was sentenced to death.