April 24, 1997
MR. JONES: May it please the Court . . .
THE COURT: Mr. Jones.
MR. JONES: Special attorney to the United States Attorney General, Mr. Hartzler, and to Mr. Ryan, the United States Attorney for the Western Judicial District of Oklahoma and to Mr. Timothy McVeigh, my client, I have waited two years for this moment to outline the evidence to you that the Government will produce, that I will produce, both by direct and cross-examination, by exhibits, photographs, transcripts of telephone conversations, transcripts of conversations inside houses, videotapes, that will establish not a reasonable doubt but that my client is innocent of the crime that Mr. Hartzler has outlined to you.
And like Mr. Hartzler, I begin where he began. As he said, it was a spring day in Oklahoma City. And inside the office of the Social Security Administration located in the Alfred P. Murrah Building, named after a distinguished chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, a young black woman named Dana Bradley was feeling the atmosphere a little stuffy and warm; so she left her mother, her two children, and her sister in line and she wandered out into the lobby of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. And as she was looking out the plate glass window, a Ryder truck slowly pulled into a parking place and stopped. She didn't give it any particular attention until the door opened on the passenger side, and she saw a man get out.
Approximately three weeks later, she described the man to the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, as indeed she did to us and to others, as short, stocky, olive-complected, wearing a puffy jacket, with black hair, a description that does not match my client. She did not see anyone else.
She saw this individual pause briefly, walk to what she thought might be the back of the truck, and walk away.
She turned around and went back in the Social Security office; and then in just a matter of moments, the explosion occurred. It took the life of her mother and her two children and horribly burned her sister. She is not a witness for the defense.
And that night, approximately 12 hours later, almost to the minute, somewhere between 50 and 100 million people throughout the world, courtesy of CNN, watched physicians crawl through the rubble of the Murrah Building and amputate this woman's life -- this woman's leg in order that her life might be saved and she could be extricated from the rubble.
In addition to the members of her family who died that morning, the bomb claimed Charles E. Hurlburt; John Karl Vaness, III; Anna Jean Hurlburt; Donald Lee Fritzler; Eula Leigh Mitchell; Donald Earl Burns, Sr.; Norma Jean Johnson; Calvin C. Battle; Laura Jane Garrison; Burl Bloomer; Luther Treanor; Rheta Long; Juretta Colleen Guiles; Robert Glen Westberry; Carolyn Ann Kreymborg; Leora Lee Sells; Mary Anne Fritzler; Virginia Mae Thompson; Peola Y. Battle; Peter Robert Avillanoza; Richard Leroy Cummins; Ronald Vernon Harding; LaRue Ann Treanor; Ethel Louise Griffin; Antonio C. Reyes; Thompson Eugene Hodges, Jr.; Junior Justes; Margaret Goodson; Oleta Christine Biddy; David Jack Walker; James Anthony McCarthy; Carol L. Bowers; Linda Coleen Housley; John Albert Youngblood; Robert Nolan Walker, Jr.; Thomas Lynn Hawthorne, Sr.; Dolores Marie Stratton; Jules Valdez; John Thomas Stewart; Mickey Bryant Maroney of the Secret Service, who had guarded presidents; John Clayton Moss, III; Carole Sue Khalil; Emilio Rangel; James Everette Boles; Donald R. Leonard of the Secret Service; Castine Deveroux; Clarence Eugene Wilson; Wanda Jean -- Wanda Lee Watkins; Michael Lee Loudenslager; Carrol June Fields; Frances Ann Williams; Claudine Ritter; Ted Allen; Linda McKinney; Trish Nix; Betsy McGonnell; David Burkett; Michael George Thompson; Catherine Mary Leinen; Sharon Louise Wood Chesnut; Ricky Lee Tomlin, from my hometown of Enid; Larry James Jones; Richard Arthur Allen; Harley Richard Cottingham; Lanny Lee David Scroggins; George Michael Howard; Jerry Lee Parker; Judy Joann Fisher; Diane Althouse; Mike Weaver; Robert Lee Luster, Jr.; Peter DeMaster; Katherine Ann Finley; Doris Adele Higginbottom; Steven Douglas Curry; Michael Joe Carrillo; Cheryl Hammon, Aurelia Luster and Linda Florence of the credit union; Claudette Meek; William Williams; Johnny Wade; Larry Turner; Brenda Daniels; Margaret Spencer; Paul Broxterman; Paul Ice; Woody Brady; Claude Medearis; Teresa Lauderdale; Terry Rees; Alan Whicher; Lola Bolden; Kathy Seidl; Kimberly Clark; Mary Rentie; Diana Day; Robin Huff; Peggy Holland; Victoria Texter and Susan Jane Ferrell of Chandler, Oklahoma; Kenneth Glenn McCullough; Victoria Sohn; Pamela Argo; Rona Chafey; Jo Ann Whittenberg; Gilbert Martinez; Wanda Howell; Sandy Avery; James Kenneth Martin; Lucio Aleman, Jr.; Valerie Koelsch; Teresa Alexander; Kim Cousins; Michelle Reeder; Andrea Blanton; Karen Carr; Christi Jenkins; Jamie Genzer; Ronota Ann Woodbridge; Benjamin Davis; Kimberly Burgess; Tresia Jo Mathes-Worton; Mark Allen Bolte; Randolph Guzman; Sheila Driver; Karan Shepherd; Sonja Sanders; Derwin Miller; Jill Randolph; Carrie Lenz; Cynthia Lynn Campbell Brown; Cassandra Booker; Shelly Bland; Scott Williams; Dana Cooper; Julie Marie Welch; Frankie Ann Merrell; Christine Nicole Rosas; Lakisha Levy; Cartney McRaven; Aaron Coverdale; Ashley Megan Eckles; Zackary Taylor Chavez; Kayla Marie Haddock; Peachlyn Bradley; Chase Dalton Smith; Anthony Christopher Cooper, II; Colton Smith; Elijah Coverdale; Dominique R. London; Baylee Almon; Jaci Rae Coyne; Blake Ryan Kennedy; Tevin Garrett; Danielle Nicole Bell; Tylor Eaves; Antonio Cooper, Jr.; Kevin Lee Gottshall, II, and Gabreon Bruce.
For those of us from Oklahoma, the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building is the event by which we measure time. It is to my generation in Oklahoma what Pearl Harbor was to my mother and father's generation.
And on the morning that Mr. Hartzler described, the proof will show that when the fire department arrived, the smoke was so black that at first they thought it was the Walter -- the Water Resources Board across the street that had been destroyed, because the smoke hid the fact that the entire front and the roof of the Murrah Building was gone. And it was three or four minutes before the captain on duty realized as the smoke began to clear that the real catastrophic event was behind him. And the Oklahoma City fire department moved to a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth alarm.
That is the Oklahoma City bombing.
You have been empowered to determine whether the allegations made by the Government against my client are true; that is to say, whether he is guilty or not guilty.
Mr. Hartzler has outlined to you this morning the Government's case, the evidence, or at least some of it, which he hopes to prove. The Judge has told you that that is not evidence itself, what he says; and certainly what I say is not evidence. Rather, he and I are trying to put together pieces of a puzzle so that you may look at the puzzle and see whether, in fact, the pieces justify the way that we say they come together.
In reviewing the evidence in this case and in the proof that will come, you know, and certainly it will be in evidence, that this was the largest domestic terrorism act in the history of this country. The president of the United States and the Attorney General of the United States went on nationwide television within hours after the bombing. The president came to Oklahoma City for the memorial funeral service at which 12,000 people attended. The federal government offered a $2 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved.
And I think it fair to say that this was the largest criminal investigation in the history of this country.
The question is did they get the right man.
Many of the witnesses that Mr. Hartzler said would testify will tell you that though they have spent many, many -- in some cases dozens of hours -- talking with the ladies and gentlemen at the prosecution table and with the FBI and with newspapers from around the world and television networks, they have never talked to us. So in some cases, we will be asking them questions to find out for the first time; and we will ask them about these conversations that occurred over so many hours and so many days with the prosecution.
I believe that when you see the evidence in this case, you will conclude that the investigation of the Alfred P. Murrah Building lasted about two weeks. The investigation to build the case against Timothy McVeigh lasted about two years. But within 72 hours after suspicion first centered on Mr. McVeigh, we will prove to you that even then, the Government knew, the FBI agents in the case, that the pieces of the puzzle were not coming together; that there was something terribly wrong, something missing. And as Paul Harvey says, our evidence will be the rest of the story.
So let me begin first with Timothy McVeigh. The evidence in this case, probably from the Government as well as from the defense, will show that yesterday, he turned 29 years old, as I think Mr. Hartzler has already made some reference to; for he was born on April 23, 1968 in Lockport, New York, son of William and Mildred McVeigh; and as Mr. Hartzler has indicated to you, he has a sister, Jennifer, younger by six years, and an older sister, Patricia, older by two years. Tim's dad, Bill McVeigh, had been an auto worker since 1963 and his mother, Micki, worked at various jobs, including most frequently as a travel agent.
Their (sic) parents were separated in June of 1984, when Tim was 16 years old, and they were divorced in March of 1986. Tim continued to live in the family home with his father, Bill. He grew up in upstate New York. Witnesses will tell you that he started the first grade in September of 1974 in Lockport, New York, a small town just outside of Buffalo.
He continued through all of his schooling at Lockport. He made good grades except perhaps in his senior year -- in fact, well above average grades. He got a honor pass award, which is reserved for students who exhibited above average academic performance and initiative, in his senior year; and when he graduated from the Star Point High School in Lockport in June of 1986, he had a small regents' scholarship to a state university in New York; but he didn't go to college.
He first started working at Burger King in the fall of 1986, until the spring of 1987. Then he switched jobs and went to work as an armored car driver for Burke's Security in Buffalo from the spring of 1987 to the spring of 1988. It was during that period of time that he knew and was well acquainted with some of the people that Mr. Hartzler mentioned to you, friends of his, like Mr. Darlak that he grew up with in upstate New York.
Then he went to work at the Burns International Security Service, March of 1992. He had a supervisory position there, and he left it in January of 1993. He came to Arizona, where his friends Mike and Lori Fortier lived; and Tim worked at the TruValue Hardware store in Kingman beginning in 1993 and again as a security guard at State Security during the same period of time. And then he went to work, so to speak, on his own, buying and selling and trading weapons at the numerous gun shows held throughout the country, of which there are probably anywhere from 2- to 3,000 a year.
But in May of 1988, he entered the armed services and stayed there until December of 1991, in the United States Army. After Fort Benning, his permanent station duty was Fort Riley, Kansas. And there he became a gunner for a Bradley fighting vehicle and repeatedly throughout his Army service, as his friends will testify here, he achieved a top gun ranking. In fact, first among 93 other Bradley gunners.
He achieved extraordinary advancement in the enlisted ranks from a private E1 to a sergeant E5 in less than three years. And then when the Operation Desert Shield, which became Operation Desert Storm, started, he served in the front line assault, in the Kuwait/Iraq operations. He was literally on the front line and made one of the first invasions into the enemy area.
During this service in the military, he earned one of our highest awards, the Bronze Star. He also earned the Army Commendation medal with an upgrade for valor. He received the Army Commendation medal, two Army Achievement medals, and several others. In fact, his unit was chosen to be the inner perimeter guard at the site where General Schwarzkopf and his opposite number in the Iraqi army arranged the terms of the armistice that ended the war.
After the war, he returned to the United States. He came back initially to go into the special forces. He had been accepted into it, but he had been in the desert for several months, had lost a considerable amount of weight and frankly physically wasn't up to it; so he and a friend of his who came back with him and joined on the same day dropped out the second day, because they knew they weren't cut out for his physically. He went back to Fort Riley, stayed in the service and then eventually got out, went into the reserves in New York, and then went to work at some of the places that I have suggested to you here.
That's basically his background, where he grew up, who his parents were, where he worked, and what his position was.
Mr. McVeigh's motives as described by the Government in Mr. Hartzler's opening address are that he is anti-government; that he has a hatred for the United States, and that he conspired with others to build a terrible explosive device which he initiated because he was angry at the government of the United States.
Mr. Hartzler has told you that the Government's evidence will consist of, among other things, a shirt that Mr. McVeigh was wearing when he was arrested and that in his car he had all this patriot literature -- it was, after all, incidentally, Patriots' Day, as Mr. Hartzler said -- quotations from John Locke, Patrick Henry; but on this shirt, he had sic semper tyrannis, the words spoken by John Wilkes Booth when he assassinated Abraham Lincoln in Ford's theater. And the Government suggests to you that as an expression of his motive.
Well, sic semper tyrannis is also the official slogan of the state of Virginia and had been for almost 100 years before John Wilkes Booth appropriated it. And it was chosen by three men: George Mason, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, a member of the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia. He authored several amendments to the Constitution which were later adopted.
Another person who designed that slogan and adopted it was the famous general Richard Henry Lee of the American Revolutionary Army, who signed the Declaration of Independence and was a delegate to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia and introduced the famous resolution of June 7, 1776, which called for the dissolutionment (sic) of ties between the United States and Great Britain; and he proposed the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which was adopted, and later served as a United States senator from Virginia.
The third person who participated in the selection was George Wythe, who signed the Declaration of Independence and was a delegate to the continental Congress.
So sic semper tyrannis is not the exclusive property of John Wilkes Booth. It has a meaning in the historical conservative community of people who follow the revolutionary rule and its antecedents, has really nothing to do only with John Wilkes Booth; likewise with the statement that Mr. McVeigh made to his sister that something big is going to happen. Well, we will give you proof that in the last of March and the first part of April of 1995, the something big that was going to happen didn't have anything to do with the bombing in Oklahoma City. Those words and expressions and communications and conversations were all over the Internet, in which thousands of people exchanged communication back and forth because they believed that the federal government was about to initiate another Waco raid, except this time on a different group.
Now, we're not concerned with whether the federal government was going to do that. The point is that Mr. McVeigh was just one of tens of thousands of people of his political persuasion who believed that something big was going to happen in April of 1995.
There is no question that the evidence will show that Mr. McVeigh was a political animal. He studied history, the Constitution, the amendments to the Constitution. He carried them on his person. He carried them in his car, he carried them in his briefcase, and they were stacked in his house and he laid them out on tables at gun shows. There isn't any dispute about that.
Likewise, he was extremely upset with the subject of government abuse. Among the collection of literature, including that found in his car at the time of his arrest on Patriots' Day were John Locke's Second Treatise of Government, quotations from Thomas Jefferson, quotations from Winston Churchill and the Declaration of Independence.
Tim McVeigh, along with his sister and his friends, wrote letters to newspapers. They voted. His politics were open and known to everyone that spent any time with him. There was no secret about the politics that Tim McVeigh had.
And part of those politics had to do with the events, as Mr. Hartzler has described them, at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
Our proof will be that Tim McVeigh believed that the federal government executed 76 people at Waco, including 30 women and 25 children. That was his political belief. He was not alone in that opinion.
He believed that the federal law enforcement at Waco deployed in a military fashion against American citizens and children who had committed no crime and that the Branch Davidians were not a cult who lived in a compound. He believed that they were what they were, a breakoff of the Seventh Day Adventist church who had lived at Mount Carmel since the 1930's.
He believed that the federal government undertook a course of action including the use of tanks and CS gas and other military weapons against the Branch Davidians which was certain to result in their death. He believed that federal agents fired upon the Davidians as they attempted to escape the fire. He believed that these actions and cover-up of these actions, as he saw it, pointed to a federal government out of control; and he made no secret about it. He was at Waco. There is a videotape of Tim McVeigh which you will see in evidence in a flannel shirt sitting on top of his car, talking to a television reporter. And on the top of the car are bumper stickers that he is selling or giving away which describe his political beliefs.
He believed that the government manipulated the press at Waco and that the words "cult" and "compound" were used to hide what was really going on.
He was not alone in those beliefs. When the federal jury at San Antonio acquitted the Branch Davidians of murder, he saw that as validation; and when the Congress of the United States last year issued its report on Waco, he saw that as validation.
He was also concerned about Ruby Ridge, where Marshal Deacon, much celebrated member of the United States Marshal's Service, was killed. He believed there that the ATF had entrapped Randy Weaver into committing a crime by sawing off a small portion of a shotgun just below the line to make it illegal so that they could then pressure Weaver into being an informant for the ATF in the community in northern Idaho 20 miles from the Canadian border that Weaver had moved his family to, to live life as he wanted.
And he believed that an FBI sniper, who was also at Waco, shot and killed Randy Weaver's wife as she was holding her daughter and that they shot and killed a ten-year-old boy, Sammy, as he was running towards the house. And the jury on Ruby Ridge acquitted Randy Weaver of murder.
So his views weren't alone, and they certainly were not secret.
He had another belief: He was strongly concerned about the Brady Bill, wrote angry letters about it, talked about it, didn't like it. In his mind -- and the evidence will show -- the Brady Bill was just the first step to effectively repeal the Second Amendment by taking away from people their right to own guns and to protect themselves against abuses of the federal government.
Those were his beliefs. Much of the rhetoric and writing that the Government will introduce and call to your attention was virulent and caustic. It was extreme in some cases.
But there are many examples of material -- and some of them, we will introduce -- possessed and studied by Tim McVeigh which were not. Among the items found in Mr. McVeigh's car at the time of his arrest was a statement in reference to gun control. And along with the items that Mr. Hartzler said was found and read from, this was found: "Well, that's part of my contribution to defense of freedom, this call to arms. In the past, I put to use the above points. I intend to become more active in the future. I would rather fight with pencil lead than bullet lead. We can win this war in voting booth. If we have to fight in the streets, I would not be so sure. Those guys have helicopters and tanks. Assault rifles and 223s are ineffective against an Abram tank or an Apache helicopter. All too often in the past, we gutsy gun owners have lost the battle because we have failed to fight. The Brady Bill could have been defeated in Congress if gun owners had become more involved in electing officials and communicating to those officials what was expected to them. The Brady Bill will pass by the thinnest of margins. The next bills will make Brady look mild. Start your defense today. Stamps are cheaper than bullets and can be more effective." This was also in Tim McVeigh's car.
And among the others was one by Abraham Lincoln: "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
We will prove to you that the evidence that the Government brings to you which they call the motive for blowing up the building proves nothing; that millions of innocent people fear and distrust the federal government and were outraged and that being outraged is no more an excuse for blowing up a federal building than being against the government means that you did it.
The federal government's actions in reference to gun control and Waco trigger emotional responses from people like Tim McVeigh; but they are within the political and social mainstream. And among those people who held the same views were Michael and Lori Fortier. Each of them expressed frequently the same views ascribed to Tim McVeigh.
We will show you evidence that Michael Fortier himself believed that the Government had murdered innocent children at Waco and had used excessive force at Ruby Ridge.
The evidence of Michael and Lori Fortier will show that people can have deep-seated convictions about these matters without being prompted to action.
Mr. Hartzler has also discussed with you and the Government will introduce into evidence The Turner Diaries. The Turner Diaries, we will show, has sold about 200,000 copies in this country. In fact, you can buy it down at the Tattered Cover book store right here in Denver; and it is no more a blueprint, much less a reason, to blow up a federal building than Frederick Foresyth's novel The Day of the Jackal is a blueprint to assassinate the president of France, or William Falkner's novel Sanctuary is a graphic description of how men can rape women by instrumentation, or that Lady Chatterly's Lover can teach you how to make love.
The Government has argued, Mr. Hartzler will tell you, and proved under their theory, that the Turner Diaries was a blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombing. The Government's evidence will say that the bombing of the FBI headquarters in Washington -- and incidentally, that was the building, not a federal building in the middle of the country, but the offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington. They have argued that their evidence will be that Mr. McVeigh thought it was necessary to wake up America because that was the theme of The Turner Diaries. And the prosecution's evidence, as Mr. Hartzler has told you, will be that passages from The Turner Diaries demonstrate the motive and the purpose of the bombing.
I believe this is a convenient place to stop, your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. Thank you.
OPENING STATEMENT CONTINUED
MR. JONES: Ladies and gentlemen, this morning Mr. Hartzler outlined for you the Government's evidence and proof as he saw it concerning the role of a fictional account, The Turner Diaries, would play in this case. I want to take now the opportunity to tell you what our evidence will be and the interpretation that we think is drawn from that proof and evidence.
The Government's argument and proof is that The Turner Diaries was a blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombing in two ways. It was first an intellectual blueprint in the sense that Mr. McVeigh read it and believed in it and passed it on to his friends, because the bombing of the building in The Turner Diaries, which is analogous to the bombing of the building in Oklahoma City under the Government's proof, was done to wake up America; and that, the Government contends, is what Mr. McVeigh was attempting to do in bombing the building.
And the second way The Turner Diaries is a blueprint is that the actual mechanical and technical means to blow up the building in Oklahoma City are found in The Turner Diaries, that it is, if you will, a cookbook, a recipe, on how to do in Oklahoma City what Earl Turner did in Washington, D.C.
The proof however that we will offer is that the narrator -- that is, the first-person account in The Turner Diaries -- never indicated that the bombing of the FBI headquarters was done to, quote, "wake up America," close quote, or, quote, "to send a message to the government," close quote, or for that matter to the American people.
The Turner Diaries will be in evidence, and the proof will show that the expressly stated purpose for the fictional bombing to destroy the FBI headquarters and the subbasement was that it had a bank of computers which were to be used for implementing what the author described as an Orwellian Big Brother style of an internal passport system which would enable the FBI to keep a record of whereabouts of the citizens at all times, a fictional account clearly distinguishable from the Government's proof.
The second reason for the fictional bombing in the book was to hamper the FBI's campaign of rounding up members of the organization to which the first-person narrator, Earl Turner, belonged.
At page 30 in the book -- and you will be -- have it into evidence and you can read it for yourself -- the author states, "Apparently revolutionary command has decided to take the offensive against the political police before they arrest too many more of our legals or finish up setting their computerized passport system."
At page 36 a few pages later, the author states, "The third reason for the bombing of the FBI building is the revolutionary command feels that it is essential to strike the system immediately with a blow which will not only interrupt the FBI roundup of our legals, at least temporarily, but will also raise morale throughout the organization by embarrassing the system and demonstrating our ability to act."
From what Williams said, I gather that these two goals have become even more pressing than the original objective of knocking out the computer bank.
Well, the evidence will show the FBI isn't even in the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. Its headquarters were at 50 Penn Place, some 4 or 5 miles away. The proof is that in The Turner Diaries, the motive for bombing of the FBI headquarters was not the motive of the Government's proof ascribed to Mr. McVeigh. It was the need to destroy a specific military target in an ongoing war that was already in place between the government and the revolutionary organization. In short, it's a work of fiction.
Now, the second part of the Government's proof, as Mr. Hartzler outlined it, is to say that The Turner Diary bomb is the blueprint in composition, design and delivery of the so-called Ryder truck bomb allegedly driven by Mr. McVeigh.
Well, in the fictional account in the book of the bombing of the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., the explosive was ammonium nitrate mixed with fuel. The detonator was homemade lead azide, and the booster was commercially manufactured dynamite.
The composition and construction of the bomb, while you will receive it into evidence in this book, are found on pages 32, 35, 36 and 38; and they are not, the proof will show, the composition, design and delivery of the Government's theory of the bomb in this case.
The Government's proof may be that something else was added: Anhydrous hydrazine and nitromethane. Nitromethane is not mentioned anywhere in The Turner Diaries as a component of the bomb. If the person that detonated or manufactured the bomb for Oklahoma City had a blueprint for the bombing, it came from something other than The Turner Diaries.
In the fictional FBI bombing in The Turner Diaries, a key element was to deliver the bomb into the basement headquarters where it would be confined and could do the maximum structural damage. The FBI bombing in The Turner Diaries is much closer to the World Trade Center where a truck was driven into the basement than it is to the Oklahoma City bombing, which was a truck bomb outside the building.
The Turner Diaries is a novel, the proof will show. Tim McVeigh possessed it and praised some aspects of it, particularly its message on gun control. It is 19 years old. That's how long its been available. We submit the evidence will show it is not the blueprint for anything.
Now, if I could, I would like to turn my attention to the proof concerning the evidence in the case.
Mr. Hartzler told you that he would call as witnesses to offer evidence Michael and Lori Fortier. He told you, "We could prove the case without them," that they are certainly not dependent upon them. Here is what the proof will show: They cannot prove the case without Michael Fortier; for under the evidence we will present, if they could, they would have charged Michael Fortier.
The proof will also show -- and Mr. Hartzler alluded to it -- that Mr. Fortier has pled guilty but he has not yet been sentenced. His wife received a form of immunity, which he described for you, so she cannot be prosecuted at all. The proof is that under the Government's theory, either one of these individuals, if what they say is true, could have stopped this bombing. They did not.
The proof will also show that at the conclusion of this case, Mr. Fortier at some time will be sentenced; and part of his plea bargain is that the Government may move for a downward departure of his sentencing guidelines. What those are will be explained by witnesses, but basically they will show that Mr. Fortier could face up to 23 years in prison or he could be sentenced to as little as two years in prison. But the proof will certainly indicate that whatever it is, I don't have any influence on it. I don't move for a downward departure. I can't move for an upward departure. The only people that can assist Mr. Fortier when his sentence day comes is the Government, not Mr. McVeigh's counsel.
Mr. Fortier will admit to you that I cannot grant him immunity. I don't even have the power to ask for it. I don't have the power or authority to seek the death penalty of him. I don't have the power or authority to seek the death penalty for his wife. I don't have the authority to present evidence concerning them to the grand jury. I haven't even talked with the gentleman. All of that he will admit.
The Government has the power to arrest him; to indict him; to charge him with an offense that carries the death penalty; to arrest, indict and charge his wife and expose her to the death penalty; to determine what charges will be filed. More importantly the evidence will show what charges will not be filed and, as I've already indicated, what sentence he will receive.
He will admit to you that he has spent more time with Government prosecutors going over his testimony than has been spent with any other witness in this case. I have yet to see the man, and he will acknowledge that.
Michael Fortier was born in Maine. He moved to Kingman, where he lived at the time of the events described in the indictment, when he was in elementary school and he grew up there, out on old U.S. 66, now Interstate 40 to Los Angeles. He attended school there and then after high school completed two years in a community college, known as the Mojave Community College; and he entered the military, he will admit, and the Army from May of 1988 until May of 1991. And it was while he was in the Army that he met Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols and, of course, others.
He will tell you that he had basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he met Terry Nichols, who was his platoon guide. He also met Tim McVeigh in basic training, and they became friends and roommates. His permanent base, like Mr. Nichols and Mr. McVeigh, was at Fort Riley, Kansas.
When operation Desert Storm came along, I believe Mr. Nichols was already out of the Army. Mr. McVeigh went to Saudi Arabia. Mr. Fortier did not. He was discharged in May of 1991 where he will tell you he returned to Kingman, Arizona.
He had known the lady that became his wife, Lori Hart, from high school. They lived together in Manhattan when he was at Fort Riley. She came out, was with him. They had a child, and then he married her in July of 1994 at Treasure Island resort hotel in Las Vegas, and Tim McVeigh was his best man. The Fortiers have a daughter; and at the time of this event and his questioning by the Government, he was expecting their second child.
After being discharged -- and he received an honorable discharge from the military -- he worked at the TruValue hardware store in Kingman and attended community college. He quit his job at the store in December 1994 over some disagreement. That's irrelevant to these proceedings.
He claimed to have had a crushed disk from which he received medical treatment from the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Prescott, Arizona; and he complained that he had back problems which made it difficult for him to sit at a desk. In fact he gave back problems as the reason for wanting to rent a large car from the rental agency in Manhattan, Kansas, at the airport in December 1994 in the incident that Mr. Hartzler described to you.
He was out of work during much of the time that we're talking about here, supposedly because of these medical problems. He and his wife lived in a trailer house in Kingman; and during part of the time, Mr. McVeigh lived there with him. But Mr. McVeigh also at different times had a different place that he lived there in Kingman away from them.
Michael and Lori Fortier's political beliefs were very similar to Tim McVeigh's. That's one of reasons for their friendship. They were completely aware of Mr. McVeigh's government theories, and they were also completely aware -- and we will introduce evidence to that effect -- of the Government's theory in this case about Tim McVeigh long before they made any statements to the FBI concerning that theory. In other words, the proof will show that what they told the Government they had already read about in the Kingman Daily Miner and the Arizona Republic and seen on television and probably heard on the radio what the Government's theory was.
Beginning on April the 19, 1995, and continuing for almost a full month until May 17, 1995, the Fortiers read countless newspaper articles, watched constant television coverage concerning the Government's investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing. They will admit to you that they studied these news accounts before making any statements which would tend to support the Government's theory.
Aspects of the Government's case which we will introduce which appeared prominently in the newspapers and media sources directly available to the Fortiers include the following: That the Government believed that the bomb was carried in a Ryder truck; that the Government believed the truck was rented at Elliott's Body Shop in Junction City, Kansas; that the person that rented the truck had used the alias Robert Kling; that the Government believed the bomb was constructed at Geary Lake State Park; that the Government believed Tim McVeigh left a getaway car in Oklahoma City on April 16, 1995; that the Government believed that Terry Nichols and Tim McVeigh had constructed the bomb and that Tim McVeigh had driven the truck which carried the bomb; that the Government believed that storage sheds were used to conceal the components of the bomb; and that the Government believed the bomb was constructed of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil contained within plastic barrels.
All of that Michael Fortier knew was the Government's theory before he began cooperating with the Government.
Not only did they read these accounts in the Arizona Republic newspaper, they had access to the Kingman Daily Miner, their hometown newspaper, which was full of details concerning it because the FBI was conducting a wide-ranging investigation in Kingman.
The proof will show that Michael and Lori Fortier's subsequent statements were designed to support the reports that they had read about that was the Government's theory before they decided to cooperate.
In fact, Michael Fortier would admit to you that he went so far as to confront the FBI with a copy of the Arizona Republic newspaper of Sunday, April 23, 1995, concerning what he said were false reports. Notations and highlights that Mr. Fortier set forth in the newspaper itself, include "never knew him to shoot illegally," "not true to my knowledge," "anyone charged not convicted should fear for their lives," "guilty until proven innocent."
In reference to Mr. Nichols frequenting Mr. Fortier's home, Mr. Fortier wrote, "Never, ever, pure fabrication, which will be taken as true," and, quote, "Never heard of this story," close quote.
So the evidence will clearly show that he followed the Government's investigation and knew what they were doing from the newspaper. The evidence will show that these reports that he read, which he now supports, before he began to cooperate with the Government, he vehemently denied to the FBI, to friends, to CNN, Los Angeles Times and anybody else that talked with him.
The Government will offer evidence and proof, we believe, that Mr. Fortier visited various sites associated with this case under the Government's theory. But our evidence is that Michael Fortier knew these sites. He had lived in Junction City, Kansas. He had been at Fort Riley. He had been through Herington. He knew where Geary State Lake was. He knew all of this area because he and Lori had lived there during the time that he was in the military. He had been stationed at Fort Riley for three years and lived in Manhattan, Kansas, right in the center of this area, for two of those years. He had also traveled through Oklahoma City with Tim McVeigh when both of them were in the service in 1988.
But in addition to his military service, the evidence will show that both Michael and Lori Fortier had the same political philosophy attributed to Tim McVeigh and, incidentally, Terry Nichols. Both Michael and Lori were outraged over the Government's actions at Waco, and Michael Fortier told the FBI as much. Both possessed and used firearms, and Michael Fortier possessed explosives; and they possessed all of same literature or certainly much of it that was found in a box that one of Jennifer's friends was keeping of Tim McVeigh's belongings. Michael Fortier possessed a copy of what's called The Citizens' Rule Book. He was a subscriber to the Spotlight newsletter just like my client and a subscriber to the Patriot Reports, and he possessed his own copy of The Turner Diaries.
Michael and Lori Fortier, we will prove, proclaimed Tim McVeigh's innocence to the world repeatedly. They even prepared a written press release that Lori Fortier wrote out which Michael Fortier delivered in an interview with Sean Calebs of CNN on April the 26th, 1995.
Beginning on April the 21st, the proof will show, Mr. Fortier made seven separate detailed statements to the FBI in which he denied knowledge of the bombing and proclaimed Tim's innocence. Lori Fortier was present for most if not all of these statements.
Even after Mr. Fortier began cooperating with the FBI on May 17, 1995, he claimed that he did not know the guns provided by McVeigh had been stolen in this robbery that the Government will introduce evidence concerning; and Mr. Fortier at that time made no mention of the Marion County quarry burglary that Mr. Hartzler mentioned to you. But after he had numerous contacts -- and there will be proof of those -- with agents, then Mr. Fortier remembered those details and added to them.
The Government obtained court-ordered surveillance by electronic means of Mr. and Mrs. Fortier. They followed them when they left their apartment. They made their presence well known. They kept surveillance logs -- you'll see them -- and were following them almost heel to toe. But they followed them in a way that the Fortiers did not know because they had made, as the law permits, an application to the district court out there to obtain what we call a bug, placing it inside the Fortiers' house so that every word Michael and Lori said was secretly recorded without their knowledge. And in addition, they had a tap on the telephone so that whoever called -- and most of the phone calls were from media sources seeking interviews -- but whoever called, their father, their mother, their friends, their brother, those conversations, unbeknownst to the Fortiers, were secretly tape-recorded; and you will hear some of them.
On April the 21st, Mr. Fortier was questioned by the FBI; and he stated to them that he knew that Mr. McVeigh had been charged because of TV coverage, but he told the FBI that he did not think Tim McVeigh was capable of participation in the Oklahoma City bombing.
He was interviewed a second time on the same day by the FBI, and this time he told the FBI that he had not seen or had contact with Terry Nichols since Mr. Fortier was discharged from the Army. He also told them that he had no knowledge of or complicity in the bombing.
The next day, April 22nd, Mr. Fortier told FBI agents that the Oklahoma City investigation was a witch hunt, and he stated unequivocally that he did not believe McVeigh did it.
The following day he was reinterviewed, and Mr. Fortier told the FBI that Mr. McVeigh had never spoken generally or specifically about any bombs; and it was Mr. Fortier that said that he had not cried over the children killed in Oklahoma City because children are being killed all over the world.
In a second interview on April the 23rd, 1985 (sic), Mr. Fortier told agents that he had never been involved with explosives and only discussed guns with the Government -- and the Government with Tim McVeigh. He again told the FBI that he picked up no indication whatsoever from Tim McVeigh that Mr. McVeigh would commit the Oklahoma City bombing. The next day he was again interviewed; and on April 24th, he again told the FBI, "I have no knowledge of the bombing."
On May the 1st, the FBI warned Mr. Fortier they were going to search his house, they had obtained a search warrant. The evidence will show that ordinarily search warrants are executed and carried out without calling somebody on the phone or telling them they're going to be searched, because of course they might hide or destroy evidence. You get the search warrant, you go out and search somebody's house.
Our proof is this: The Government knew that Mr. Fortier had drugs, he used them, maybe distributed them, possessed them. They didn't want to find drugs in his house, so they told him they were going to search it. Mr. Fortier took the drugs out, gave them to his next-door neighbor, and there were no drugs there when the FBI arrived a few minutes later.
On May the 6th, Mr. Fortier was served with a grand jury subpoena, and he told the agents he didn't think he could be of any additional help because he didn't know anything; and then a few days later -- and there will be evidence on this -- something happened. On Wednesday, May 10th, an article appeared in the Phoenix Gazette which indicated that Terry Nichols had now been charged as a direct participant in the Oklahoma City bombing. Mr. Fortier read this article, and he now understood that Mr. Nichols as well as Mr. McVeigh could face the death penalty if convicted. He also understood from the article that Mr. Nichols was being charged not only as a direct participant but as an aider and abettor of the crime.
The article he read indicated that Mr. Nichols and Mr. McVeigh had a long association, just like Mr. Fortier and Mr. McVeigh had; that Mr. Nichols and Mr. McVeigh had been through basic training together. And Mr. Fortier will tell you he had been through basic training with them; that they had sometimes shared a house together. Mr. Fortier will tell you that he and Mr. McVeigh had shared a house together.
The article indicated that the FBI and authorities had found guns, ammunition, antigovernment literature and other material at Terry Nichols' house.
Mr. Fortier will tell you that he had guns and ammunition, explosives and antigovernment literature at his house. He perceived he would be next, our proof is. He had a long association with Tim just like Terry. Like Mr. Nichols, Mr. McVeigh and Fortier had gone through basic training together, they both shared a house together, they both had fertilizer at their houses; and like Nichols, Mr. Fortier had guns, ammunition and antigovernment literature.
Two days after Terry Nichols had been charged as a participant in the Oklahoma City bombing, on May 12, 1995, Michael Fortier contacted the FBI and told them he wanted to cooperate. Prior to this meeting with the FBI at which he had wanted to cooperate, in the sanctity of his own home, Mr. Fortier told, through these wiretaps and bugs, his closest friends and his family that he had no knowledge of the bombing and that Tim McVeigh was innocent.
In the privacy of his home and on the privacy of his telephone away from the television and newspaper and FBI agents outside, he specifically stated the following: He told his brother John that the FBI played games, lied to him and used intimidation against him and his wife. He told his brother John that the FBI implied that they were going to change the sketch of John Doe 2 to make it look like Fortier, and he repeated those concerns in a nationwide interview on CNN.
He told his brother John that the FBI had planted earplugs in his Jeep. He told his friend Lonnie Hubbard that "The FBI harassed the fuck out of me." He told Lonnie Hubbard that, quote, "I don't know jack," close quote, about the Oklahoma City bombing.
He told his father that he had been truthful to the FBI when he said he had no knowledge, and he told his father that he didn't believe Tim would ever do anything like the Oklahoma City bombing. He told his mother and his brother, Irene Fortier and Paul Fortier, that the FBI had been lying to his family; and he then said, "All I know is they don't tell you the truth."
But he didn't just make these statements to his family in the privacy of his home. He repeated them publicly. I've already mentioned the handwritten press release. And in the statement, Michael and Lori Fortier say the following: "I would also like to say to everyone that Timothy McVeigh is a close friend of my family and mine. He stands accused of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building; but from knowing him, I believe in no way he was responsible for this crime. This country has been a witness to how the alleged suspect, Timothy McVeigh, has already been crucified by all the lies put forth by the media. We have all seen how the alleged suspect, Timothy McVeigh, has been portrayed in the media; and it truly sickens me when I see my friend's -- yes, my friend's -- face portrayed on the front of Time magazine as the face of terror. All of this for what reason? Premise was he was arrested and charged in connection with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. It was only because he fit the description of a composite sketch. In this country there are probably a half a million people that could fit that sketch. Hell, for that matter, there are probably a lot of people who fit it better than Tim. What I mean by this is Tim's actual physical description is 6' 2" to 6' 3", 160 to 165 pounds, male, far from the composite sketch of John Doe 1's description of a 5' 8" to 5' 11", 180- to 185-pound male. They better have more than this to arrest the man; but then again, they needed somebody to arrest for this crime." That's what he said.
The proof will show that on April the 27, 1995, Mr. and Mrs. Fortier at their own initiative traveled to a park near their home for the purpose of an interview with CNN. He gave a detailed interview to the reporter, and he said the following, in part: "I have spoken with the FBI, and I get the impression that sketch is being modify to fit my face. I mean that I know my friend Tim McVeigh is not the face of terror reported on Time magazine. I cannot say that. See, everybody just assumes that he did it automatically, and everybody wants to know why he did it or, you know, what he was thinking and stuff like that. The only fact is that this man was caught speeding on a highway in Oklahoma, and that is his only crime; and that why he speeds, I don't know. I'm not sure what you're insinuating what Nichols said; but no, no, I don't believe that Tim blew up any building in Oklahoma. There is nothing for me to look back upon and say, ah, yeah, that might have been. I should have seen it back then. There was nothing like that, you know; and everybody should be supportive of him because he's an innocent man."
From time to time, the proof will show, Michael and Lori Fortier checked and double-checked to be sure that their statements were consistent before they made their first joint statement to the FBI.
On May the 17th, 1995, in a Motel 6 room in Oklahoma City, Michael and Lori Fortier had a one-hour, private meeting to discuss what they would say to the FBI.
We will offer evidence that they have been in constant communication ever since then.
Mr. Hartzler told you that the Fortiers would admit, under the Government's proof, that they were users of amphetamines and marijuana. The proof will be they were daily users of amphetamines during the period of time for which they claim to have knowledge.
Mr. Fortier was a daily seller of amphetamines, both Michael and Lowry used marijuana; and the evidence will show, as I've already indicated, that the Government wasn't interested in pursuing that; but Mr. Fortier didn't know that. Mr. Fortier's maximum punishment, under the charges that he pled guilty to, is 23 years but he faces over a hundred years if he had been charged with the other crimes for which he was not charged, multiple counts of drug use and possession and lying to the ATF.
Our proof is that what he could have been charged with that he did is far greater in its severity then that which he pled guilty to but didn't do; and of course, as Mr. Hartzler told you, no charges were filed against his wife whose drug use and habit was almost as great as Mr. Fortier's.
The FBI repeatedly told Mr. Fortier in the interviews that participants in the Oklahoma City bombing would face the death penalty. Our evidence is that Terry Nichols appeared to be in the same circumstantial position by Mr. Fortier and that Mr. Fortier could read the writing on the wall.
In the plea negotiations that Mr. Hartzler has referenced the government offered Mr. Fortier a deal which allowed he and his wife to escape death itself. Mr. Fortier believed, and he will tell you, that under the deal he could receive as little as two years and his wife would not be prosecuted at all.
The deal, as I indicated, and you'll see it in evidence, provides that the Government will file a motion for a lower sentence in the even Mr. Fortier, quote, "cooperated," close quote.
The bottom line was, and is, that under this agreement which will be introduced, in order to testify against Tim -- Mr. -- Mr. McVeigh, Mr. Fortier would avoid a federal prison sentence in excess of 50 years for false statements to the FBI, false statements to the ATF and drug possession and distribution all of which, the proof will show, are totally unrelated to the bombing of the Murrah Building; but in the Oklahoma City bombing case, under the agreement, he escapes capital prosecution and his wife avoids prosecution altogether.
Our proof is that under such circumstances Mr. and Mrs. Fortier could only be expected to say whatever the Government wanted to hear, and we will prove they tailored their testimony to fit what they already new about the prosecution's case and theory and save their own skins at the expense of the truth.
We will prove that Mr. Fortier's testimony against Mr. McVeigh is the product of fear and intimidation, that he proclaimed Mr. McVeigh's innocence to his closest friends and the world and changed when Mr. Terry Nichols was charged.
Mr. Hartzler told you, and it's true that the Government will introduce evidence of -- in various ways to describe the Darrell Bridges debt card, Spotlight debt card, the telephone card, but we're all referring to the same thing. The material is put together in some kind of summary that you may see later, but basically here's what the proof will show: A telephone debt card is not of the same thing as a telephone credit card or direct distance dialing.
You have a telephone credit card and you call from your home in Denver to New York City, there is an electronic chain of billing. A call from your home or your office or a pay phone to the place in New York City that you call, and if you use direct distance dialing, you pick up the phone, you dial 1-212, whatever the number is, a record is created because you, or whomever's phone you are using, is charged a tariff and part of that tariff is dependent upon several factors, where you called from and where you called to, whether you called in the morning or after 6, whether you called on a holiday or workday, whether you had operator assistance or not, whether you called person to person or station to station. All of that information is necessary for billing.
And the telephone debit card, none of it is necessary except one thing, where the call was placed to. Because the telephone debit card charges 25› a minute whether you call across the street or across the nation. It doesn't make any difference where you called from or how or the time of day, it's only important where you called to; and it's the same whether you called Evergreen or Bangor, Maine.
Now the way that works is, is that this Spotlight, which is a newspaper put out by Liberty Lobby in Washington, D.C., which is kind of a political organization, advertised these debt cards; and in fact debt cards are a new and fast growing way that people use the telephone. You have to put the money up front. So the company's already got your money, and you can put $25, $50, a hundred dollars up, you send them a check or money order, they put it in an account.
Spotlight is the company -- and I'm not sure of its full legal name, but that's, for ease of convenience, what we'll call it -- they market this debt calling card service. People fill out an application, they pay the money to open an account, and they get the card.
Now, you don't need the card to make a call. All you need to know is the number. So anybody that knows the number can make the call. It's not something you slide in the machine and slide back out. You can surf a number, you can steal somebody's number, you can memorize your number, or you can carry the card and pull it out when you get ready to make the call.
There's a second company that figures into these transactions when you're making these calls, and that's a company called OPUS. I'm sure that stands for something but I don't remember what it is. That's the company -- remember Spotlight advertises a card and they sell it. Well OPUS is the company whose job it is to facilitate the billing for the Spotlight debt card calling customers.
These Spotlight customers prepay money into an account and they're given a number and this account is managed by OPUS; and then OPUS, through various computer systems, subtracts the cost of each call, which is 25› a minute, from the customer's account.
Anyone who has the pin number -- and that's what it's called -- of a particular Spotlight account, like a traditional calling card number, would be able to charge calls to that person's account.
One of the problems that the proof will show with the Bridges card record in this case is that the original design of the Spotlight calling card system was not to provide a trail from the calling party to the called party, not because they were trying to help the customer but because it wasn't needed so they didn't want to create more work and spend more money in a competitive market than what was needed. All they needed to know was how long you were on the phone, and as many minutes that you were on the phone they took 25› off.
The card didn't carry a camera with it, so who made the call is not in and of itself part of the telephone records; so there is, of course, a record of the call coming in. I make a call or Michael Fortier makes a call or Tim McVeigh makes a call, let's say, from Lockport, New York, and he wants to call Denver, so the mechanics -- and these experts will tell you about it -- you pick up the phone, any phone, and you dial an 800 number, 1-800-Spotlight or whatever it is, and a phone rings. It might not really ring, it's all computers, but to make it simple, a phone rings and somebody there picks up that phone and so now you're connected; and you punch in your pin number. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and electronically you're then ready to make your call. So you make the call.
And then there's a record from the place where the call came in at OPUS, or wherever it might be, Los Angeles, to where the call is received, say Denver, Colorado.
But here's our proof, to go back and say that this call in Denver was made from this pay phone in Junction City is not certain, and the reason that it's not certain is because there are three clocks. There's three forms of billing along the way, three records kept, and the clocks aren't synchronized so they're off; and this call to Denver, which may or not -- may or may not be from Junction City is not the only call OPUS is handling. It might be the only call, and the records will show it, at 3 a.m. in the morning, but at nine o'clock in the morning there could be several thousand people using their debt card calling at the same time and then their calls are filtered out but they're not linked up except in narrow, specific circumstances.
You see these computers systems that have to arrange this, unlike the debt card -- unlike the credit card on direct distance dialing, our experts or the Government experts will tell you, were not designed to work together to produce a summary of the details of each call like you get each month. When you get your phone call at the end of month you have a credit card for direct distance dialing, it will say call from Denver to Longmont or call from Denver to Kansas City on such and such a date, such and such a duration.
But that's not the way the debt card works. The Government experts spent over 2,000 hours trying to match and study these cards and I believe the proof will show on cross-examination that there were many, many mistakes and they continue to be mistakes. Just the other day, it will be introduced into evidence, there was a new summary that corrected 35 mistakes.
For example, almost two years after they had access to it, this new summary shows a new call being placed with the Bridges calling card that they hadn't found before. The Government's expert has changed the location to where a call was placed from the Bridges card from the Traveler's Motel to a Minimart pay phone, and changing the city from where the calls were placed, from, for example, Kingman, to Bullhead City.
These mistakes, which we will go over with you on cross-examination, are typical of the mistakes made in trying to show something because the various components of the system are not synchronized.
One of the computer systems gathers information about where a call was placed from. The OPUS system gathered information about billing and customer identification, and the third system gathered information to whom the call was placed.
In order to accommodate the Government's theory that specific phone calls to chemical companies or arms companies or certain individual's homes were placed by my client or Terry Nichols they used an eight minute window of time. They used different methodologies but changed the methodology; so if Methodology A would support that, well, maybe this call was made from Junction City to a chemical company in wherever, Fargo, North Dakota, and then later you couldn't use the same methodology on a subsequent call because it wouldn't prove what you wanted to prove. It wouldn't prove it was made from Junction City or Kingman where the Government's theory was.
So to get around this or to try to get around this the Government's experts in his charts program, used an eight minute window of time in which to arbitrarily chose whatever call he felt best fit the place where they wanted to make the call originate.
Sometimes -- and these records will be introduced, you'll see them -- they had two, three, four or even more choices from which to choose. They always chose the one that fit the theory that it was Tim McVeigh or Terry Nichols making the calls.
Now, Mr. Hartzler made reference to it, and it will be in evidence, and that's the telephone call to the Ryder truck. Here's what the evidence is going to show about that and arguable that's the most important call we've got here. It also relates to the evidence concerning Tom Manning and it relates to the evidence of who rented the Ryder truck.
So the evidence is going to concentrate on that morning that Mr. McVeigh purchased the old Mercury from Tom Mannning.
Initially, when the Government's agents were working on this case for a period of several weeks they thought the phone call to Elliott's had come at about 8:44 in the morning from a pay phone at Fort Riley. That was the call that rented the Ryder truck. We'll show you the chart. It will be introduced into evidence showing it.
Well, during that same period of time they're questioning Tom Mannning about the circumstance of the purchase of the Mercury Marquis, and the evidence will show that Tim's car, a car that he had had for a number of years, had been involved in some kind of accident and he gotten another car, I think, from James Nichols and it wasn't working. It came in, I think it just barely made it into Manning's Firestone store, belching smoke, whatever.
So he asked Mr. Manning if he had a car that he could buy. Tom Manning will tell you -- he'll testify here by deposition -- that he knew Tim McVeigh, he had been in there, traded with him in the past. So he said, Yeah, I've got a car. He had this old Mercury, and I believe it was 17 years old. This is the Mercury that the government will contend that Mr. McVeigh drove to Oklahoma City and this is the getaway car. This is the getaway car that Mr. McVeigh is purchasing. It was 17 years old.
I believe that Mr. Manning paid $50 for it. He sold it for $250. He actually sold it for 300 and gave McVeigh back $50.
He testified, and you'll hear it, that this car had 97,000 miles on the odometer that were showing -- of course it could be 197 or even 297, depending on how many times the odometer had turned over in this 17- to 19-year-old Mercury Marquis.
And In addition to that the fuel gauge permanently registered on empty. The needle was always over on E. And on top of that, the transmission didn't also work so when he told Mr. McVeigh the car, he also sold him some cans of transmission fluid and then watched as Mr. McVeigh drove this 17- to 19-year-old Mercury Marquis that had 97,000 or 197 or 297,000 miles on it, with the fuel gauge permanently on empty, and with transmission fluid in the back in case the car had a problem, was the getaway car that Mr. McVeigh drove to getaway from Oklahoma City.
Well, the FBI interviewed Mr. Manning eight times. Now either he didn't tell them or he told them and they didn't write it down or they didn't ask, he never once mentioned that Mr. McVeigh, while he was buying the car, left the store and came back.
He didn't mention that until about a year and a half later -- it might have been shortly less than a year and a half -- he had a conversation with one of the prosecutors in this case, just before he gave his deposition in Topeka, Kansas, two days after the election last year; and for the first time he remembered that Mr. McVeigh left his business. Or if he had remembered it before, nobody had thought it important enough to write down in his statement.
Now he remembered. Well, our evidence will be that now something else had happened and that something else was that the phone call to Elliott's wasn't at 8:44, the new theory was that it was at 9:53. Well, if it was at 9:53, from the bus station down the street from the Firestone store, and certainly within walking distance, then it couldn't be made by Tim McVeigh because Tim McVeigh is down at Manning's buying this old car.
So now Mr. Manning says, I remember he left. Well, of course, if he left, he didn't make the call if he left at the same time the call was made.
But Mr. Manning testified -- and you'll hear it -- that that's not what happened, that Mr. McVeigh was gone for 10 or 20 minutes -- 10 to 15 minutes and got back about 10:20. Even under the most extended interpretation of when Mr. McVeigh left, he left seven minutes before the call was placed. That is what the evidence is.
Then, as Mr. Hartzler told you, our proof is -- and maybe their proof -- is during the record that this call to Elliott's was made on the pin number that was the Darrell Bridges debt card. Well, there's a computer glitch and just it so happened at that moment it didn't record the pin number. That's the explanation given; but the explanation is that has to be Mr. McVeigh because two minutes before there's a phone call to Terry Nichols house which is charged to the Bridges record. That's the proof. That's the evidence.
But the evidence also is that Vickie Beemer, who works at Elliott's, said the call came at 10:30; so the proof is, it came at 8:44 from Fort Riley to pay phone, 9:53 from pay phone to bus station, or somewhere else at 10:30 according to Vicki Beemer.
No one observed Tim McVeigh at a pay phone placing phone calls when these calls were allegedly placed as the Government says they were. All of that will be introduced into evidence.
For example, Richard Greenwald, who is a businessman, was interviewed regarding a phone call to his business on October the 14, 1994; however, the Bridges summary, that will be introduced into evidence, the most recent version states the call occurred on October 24, ten days later.
There are two Government witness statements from him that give two different call times for this one call, both of which are different from the Government's most recent summary.
In the summary that will be offered here, which the government has shown us, there is an earlier summary, the second or third version, which we will introduce which tries to track these calls which reveals that two of these so-called Bridges calls were placed two minutes apart from different locations 25 miles apart. One call being placed from Kevin Nicholas's house and the other placed from Terry Nicole's house, both calls placed to Bill McVeigh's residence in Lockport, New York.
However, after this matter had been studied a little bit more these theories were changed and this proof was changed because it would mean there were multiple users of the Bridges card because the same person couldn't make a call from two different locations two minutes apart 25 miles apart; and the Government's theory is it's only Mr. McVeigh and Mr. Nichols.
There's another call that's important in this case. In the earlier version it was reflected that Bridges electronic records and charts show that a call was placed from Junction City, Kansas, at 2:51 p.m. to a Charles Kirby; however, the Government agents apparently discovered, under our proof, that two minutes prior to this call to Charles Kirby a call was placed with the Bridges card from St. George, Kansas. This is the call that was 25 miles apart between St. George's and Junction City, Kansas. This would have meant that other people besides Mr. Nichols and Mr. McVeigh had access to the Bridges calling card.
The new evidence is that the Bridges summary reflects that the call is placed to Charles Kirby, St. George, Kansas, now instead of Junction City.
Well, our proof is this: The Bridges summary is not an electronic telephone summary like you receive. It is a summary prepared from a lot of different records by FBI agents design to shape the telephone evidence to the theory in the case that the calls are made by Tim McVeigh or Terry Nichols.
Our proof is that the Bridges calling summary is not what it purports to be and cannot be relied upon.
Mr. Hartzler spoke to you about Mr. Glynn Tipton. Here is the defense proof with respect to Mr. Tipton who is the gentleman that allegedly had a contact with a man named John, last name unknown, who attempted to buy nitromethane and anhydrous hydrazine from Mr. Tipton during the week of October 1st in Topeka, Kansas. You remember Mr. Tipton, and the proof will be, was the sales manager for a company nailed VP Racing Fuels which operated, at least in that part of the country, out of Manhattan, Kansas.
The Government will offer evidence showing that a review of the Bridges card shows a phone call to VP Racing Fuel on October 7, 1994,at 2:22.
The FBI contacted Mr. Tipton at the racing fuel place on May 1st about seven months later. After this original contact with this individual named John, Mr. Tipton didn't contact the FBI, the FBI contacted him because of this purported call on Bridges summary.
Mr. Tipton was asked who called his business using a credit card call number in the name of Darrell Bridges. Mr. Tipton remembered right away that on the weekend of October the 1st he had been working at the Sears Craftsman National Drag racing in Topeka, Kansas, and that a man name John approached him and asked him if he sold anhydrous hydrazine in 55-gallon barrels. Mr. Tipton said he would have to check his records and get back to the agent -- I'm sorry, Mr. Tipton told John that he would have to check to see if he had it and get back to him.
The next day was Monday. John did not give Mr. Tipton a phone number because he said he was in the process of moving; but Mr. Tipton remembers that he gave this John one of his cards. On Monday, October the 3rd, Mr. Tipton called Wade Grey; now Mr. Gray is the purchasing agent for Texas Allied, these chemical supply. They're the ones they get this fuel from. And Tipton told this gentleman about his encounter with John.
Now, up to this point Mr. Tipton would tell you that he didn't have a clue that there was anything unusual about this request. He had even quoted John, according to himself, a price of 55-gallon barrel of nitromethane at $1200; but Wade Grey advised Mr. Tipton that Texas Allied didn't handle anhydrous hydrazine and if anhydrous hydrazine was mixed with nitromethane the combination could make a bomb.
You will hear the testimony of Wade Grey and Glynn Tipton about their various attempts to contact the ATF in different cities and to report what they thought was a suspicious inquiry, but for whatever reason the matter was not pursued.
Mr. Gray will tell you that one week after the Oklahoma City bombing he received a telephone call from Mr. Tipton who advised him that he had seen the arrest of the person arrested in the Oklahoma City bombing case and that the individual looked identical to the guy who had come up to him at the race track in that October.
But Mr. Tipton and Mr. Gray didn't call the FBI to report their suspicions, even though they say that they had seen Mr. McVeigh and that he was identical to the John that had approached Mr. Tipton at the race track.
As there's an FBI agent, special agent, named Doyle who made the first contact with Mr. Tipton after the bombing. He was there to inquire about this phone call that they thought they had found. They got together and met.
Mr. Tipton was interviewed on June 29, 1995, this time by another agent. During this interview he had far greater knowledge of the uses of racing fuel and nitromethane and anhydrous hydrazine and how they are sold. He even told this FBI agent that it was quite common for someone to buy 55-gallon barrel of racing fuel or nitromethane and that names are rarely put on the sales invoices because it was so common.
He will tell you, when he's called to the stand, that he received one other phone call from the person he knew as John. After that he never heard of John again. He never saw John again until Mr. Tipton heard through the media that the prosecution's theory that the bomb was made of ammonia nitrate and diesel fuel, he didn't even have a reason to think of John.
Mr. Tipton will testify in this proceeding and he will tell you about the various descriptions of this John that he saw. They do not match, our proof will be, Timothy McVeigh. Mr. McVeigh does not have brown hair and he doesn't have medium colored skin. He's not 5'8 or 5'10. He's considerably taller.
Our proof is that the John, whoever he may have been, was so unimportant to Mr. Tipton that even though for a brief while he thought he was identical to Tim McVeigh, he wasn't convinced enough himself to call the FBI and share with them his suspicions; and it wasn't until after the FBI came to see him followed by an NBC camera crew a little while later that he began to believe that Mr. McVeigh was this John who, by his own statement, was making an inquiry concerning a routine purchase of nitromethane.
There is a series of four, I believe it is, storage units Mr. Hartzler made reference to. These storage units, I believe there's one of them in Kingman, Arizona; and the other three are down around the Herington, Junction City, Kansas area, and Council Grove and other places.
As Mr. Hartzler told you, the Government's proof is that all of these chemicals and fertilizers and other things that went into make the Oklahoma City bomb were placed in these storage units.
Well, the FBI sent out people from the laboratory and they ran a series of chemical tests to see whether there was any chemical traces or residue traces of these various things that supposedly were in the bomb in these storage sheds. If they had been stored there for several months then presumably there would be some evidence of some residue, but they didn't find any.
Terry Nichols, our evidence will show, had a lot of judgments against him. He didn't always deal in his own name at the gun shows or businesses that he was involved in. He was running from his creditors. Mr. McVeigh had some credit problems.
Most of these units are right around the area where Mr. Nichols lived and was storing things, and our proof is that these storage units had absolute nothing to do with the Oklahoma City bombing. They were rented under aliases, there's no question about that; but exactly who rented them and what was placed in there and who had access to them and who took it out is an area where the evidence is going to conflict.
And in the final analysis the Government's proof will rely upon Michael Fortier who says that he came to one of these units in Kansas, but Mr. McVeigh went in it and there was some kind of mattress in there and Mr. Fortier himself could not tell what everything in the unit was because there was a mattress and some other items in there. It may have even been in the evening and his vision of what he saw was blocked.
Our proof is that Tim McVeigh had strong political views against the government, no question about that; that he communicated those views to other people; that he talked about them with his sister Jennifer; wrote about them to his friend Steve Hodge and maybe Dave Darlak and with people that he knew in the Army.
He sold copies of The Turner Diaries at gun shows and had a business of selling things at gun shows. Usually at these gun shows they would have what they called 200 tables, which would be a good size gun show, and that from those items he supported himself; and that Terry Nichols did the same thing.
In fact, there's a videotape, which you will see, of Terry Nichols ordering cards in his own name from the Kinko's at Manhattan shortly before the Oklahoma City bombing was going off.
And as Mr. Hartzler says, fertilizer was found at Terry Nichols house, and indeed it was, along with two pound sacks that Mr. Nichols sold it in at gun shows. And certainly the proof will be that Mr. Nichols, Mr. James Nichols' brother, who is a farmer in Michigan, and Mr. McVeigh and some of their friends from time to time exploded pop bottles, so-called pop bottle firecrackers, up in Michigan. But these are not the type of bomb, either in composition, design or mixture used in the Oklahoma City bombing case.
Mr. McVeigh arrived in Junction City, Kansas, on Thursday from Kingman, Arizona. He had been living in a motel there. His dad lived in New York, he came out of Kingman, up the highway and got to Junction City, Kansas.
I've already told you that he bought the automobile because his car gave out as he pulled himself into town. And after he got this car he drove down to the Dreamland Motel, which is owned and operated by a lady named Lea McGown who will testify in this case. Ms. McGown, a very industrious woman, I think she's originally from Germany, and she operates this motel and lives there and says that she only leaves two days a year, Easter and Christmas, and she's kind of there 24 hours a day. And she at got a daughter, Kathleen and her son, Eric, and sometimes they help her out with the motel.
The proof will be that Tim McVeigh comes into the motel and registers under his own name, Tim McVeigh -- that's what she will testify to -- fills out the registration card and goes down and is given Room 25, which is pretty close, maybe a door or two within sight or distance of Ms. McGown's office.
Now, her memory is that she saw him in a Ryder truck, but the proof is that the Ryder truck that carried the bomb here wasn't rented until Monday afternoon at 4:30. When asked how she could reconcile that, Lea McGown said it couldn't have been on Monday because Easter doesn't come on Monday, it comes on Sunday; and she remembered it. In fact she remembers it so well that she told her son, "Go down there and tell Mr. McVeigh to move that Ryder truck because it's blocking somebody else's door." There was a day sleeper that lived down in that area of the hotel.
Now, I wasn't there. I don't know whether she saw Mr. McVeigh in a Ryder truck, or she saw a Ryder truck and Mr. McVeigh wasn't in it, or she saw Mr. McVeigh; but there was about 25 to 30 to 50 people in and out of this motel every day, and they saw Mr. McVeigh at times inconsistent with the Government's proof in this case.
Now, the proof is that a phone call was placed from the Dreamland Motel to a Chinese restaurant. Hunan's, I think it is. And somebody in the name of Robert Kling, according to the restaurant records, ordered some Chinese food to be delivered to Room 25. That's what the written record of proof will be.
Jeff Davis, who was the delivery man, took the order to the Dreamland; and when he got there, there was a man standing in front of a door and the door was open and the man paid him and gave him a tip and took the order that had been placed for Robert Kling. Jeff Davis will tell you that the man he gave the Chinese food to was not Timothy McVeigh. That will be the evidence.
Timothy McVeigh was staying at the Dreamland under his own name. Robert Kling rented the Ryder truck. The Ryder truck call was made, according to Vickie Beemer, at 10:30 in the morning to reserve the truck. There was a little conversation on the phone about size of the truck and what was needed and how much deposit was made. And she will tell you that she told Mr. Kling that he had to come in and make a deposit Saturday morning in order to keep the truck -- and Elliott's wasn't open all day on Saturday. It was only open for certain periods of the day in the morning -- and that Mr. Kling would be -- or Mr. Elliott would be there.
On Saturday morning, an individual identifying himself as Robert Kling appeared at Elliott's; and Mr. Elliott was there, and he paid him for the rental of the truck and advised that he would pick up the truck on Monday afternoon. The description that Mr. Elliott gave of the person that came, according to the proof, was that he was about 5' 10" to 5' 11", medium build, weighed 100 to 185 pounds. That was Robert Kling. The proof is that Tim McVeigh is a tall, skinny guy anywhere from 6' 1" to 6' 2" and weighed 161 pounds.
On Monday afternoon, there is a videotape at McDonald's -- there are two McDonald's in Junction City. If you're going from the Dreamland Motel to McDonald's, it's shorter to go to the one in town if you are going by miles, but it's quicker if you're going to the one on the interstate because there's less traffic. You can get right down there from the Dreamland. You just simply exit the Dreamland, get on Interstate 70, go to the next exit, and there's McDonald's. That McDonald's is about a mile point three to a mile point five from Elliott's, which is further west and on an incline up on kind of a little bluff overlooking Interstate 70.
Now, there's a taxicab service in Junction City, and there's a man that works for the taxicab company; and when he was questioned by the FBI, the proof will be, he denied that he had carried Tim McVeigh to McDonald's. He'll testify -- and he has a severe diabetic problem. And the FBI was with him that day and they were with him the next day, and then he changed his story and he said, well, it must have been Tim McVeigh that he took; but his original thought of who his customer was, was it was not Tim McVeigh.
Whether Tim McVeigh took a taxi there or not is an issue for you to determine, but there isn't any dispute; and the evidence is clear that Tim McVeigh is in McDonald's. He's there, and Mr. Hartzler gave you the time; and he was last seen at McDonald's at approximately 4:00. There is a little clock on the picture, as I recall, and you can see him with his food in his hand. You can also see the clothes that he is wearing.
Approximately 15 minutes later, Robert Kling and another man walked into Elliott's. Robert Kling is wearing military fatigue-type clothing. In the picture at McDonald's, Tim McVeigh is not wearing military fatigue-type clothing. When Kling and the other man enter Elliott's, there are three people that clearly see them that day: Vickie Beemer, who works in the front office; Mr. Tom Kessinger, who works there; and Mr. Eldon Elliott, who owned it. There is a computer that indicates when the transaction to rent the truck ends. There is a lease agreement that Robert Kling has to sign to rent the truck. The proof is Tim McVeigh's fingerprints are not on the lease and Tim McVeigh's fingerprints are not anywhere in Elliott's.
The office at Elliott's is very small, probably no larger if as large as the area that you, as members of the jury, sit. There are photographs of it. There's a camera. The transaction at Elliott's and the evidence connected with it is as follows: On April the 17th, which is the Monday, Tom Kessinger is working at Elliott's Body Shop and he takes an afternoon break, and that break is between 4:15 and 4:30. To take his break, he walks into the front office and sits down. At some point in this period, two males come in and they are conversing with Vickie Beemer about renting the truck. The first individual -- and we'll call him Subject No. 1 -- the proof will show according to Kessinger, was very talkative and acted very nervously. According to Mr. Kessinger's description, this man was 5' 10" tall, weighed 175 to 185 pounds, had green or brown eyes, and rough complexion or acne.
Tim McVeigh's picture was taken before the week was out. He didn't have rough complexion and he didn't have acne and he didn't weigh 175 to 180 pounds, and he wasn't 5' 10".
When the FBI and the law enforcement officials discovered the VIN number on the Ryder truck from that axle that flew and hit the Ford Fiesta, the closest FBI agent to Junction City was a gentleman by the name of Scott Crabtree, who was stationed in Salina; and he went immediately to Junction City. Somebody called ahead to see who was there and told them what they were coming about; and even before the FBI agents got there for their interview, the proof will be that Beemer and Kessinger and Elliott started talking among themselves trying to remember what the person that rented the truck on Monday looked like and how many there were, and Eldon Elliott asked Vickie Beemer, "Did he have a beard?"
Tom Kessinger, once the FBI got there and interviewed him, apparently had the best memory of what the person looked like; so he met with an FBI visual information specialist named Raymond Rozycki, and they went down the hall and had a meeting in which they attempted to describe the man who rented the truck had carried the bomb that killed these people.
As they're sitting there, Kessinger is telling Rozycki that Subject No. 1 was accompanied by a person that was called later, for ease of reference, John Doe 2. And according to Kessinger, this man, John Doe 2, wore a black T-shirt and had a tattoo on his left arm. He wore a baseball cap with white and blue zigzag patterns; and as Kessinger is telling this to Rozycki, Rozycki is writing it down.
On April the 20th, Kessinger describes the second man as 5' 10", weighing 200 pounds, heavy, well-built, and brown eyes. Kessinger said that John Doe 2 had brown hair and a smooth complexion.
Subject No. 1, Kling, the man who rented the Ryder truck, was wearing a camouflage uniform on April the 17th, according to Kessinger, when he walked into Elliott's. On April the 24th, Mr. Kessinger helped prepare a composite drawing of John Doe 2's hat, the one with the white and the zigzag patterns.
On April the 27th, Mr. Kessinger provided to Sergeant Robert Story of the Junction City, Kansas, police department and Special Agent Ronald Rozycki from the FBI a statement of what he had seen. He told them in this statement that John Doe 1 or Robert Kling was the only individual that he had actually heard speak. He said that John Doe 1 had a different looking jaw line and it was for that reason that Kessinger looked at him so often but that John Doe 2 was muscular and had a V-shaped body.
Mr. Kessinger told Mr. Koziol that John Doe 2 always wore a hat while in the office and it looked like, from what he could see, that he had a good tan.
On April the 29th, Mr. Kessinger assisted in preparing yet another composite drawing of John Doe 2, this time with a profile.
On April the 30th, 1995, for the first time Mr. Kessinger was shown a photographic lineup and asked if anybody in that lineup looked like Subject No. 1 or Robert Kling. Mr. McVeigh was arrested by State Trooper Charles Hanger on April the 19th on state charges, held in the Noble County Jail until the afternoon of Friday, April the 21st, when he was then let out and the picture of him in the orange jumpsuit or prison garb that so many of you remember was shown to the world.
On Saturday morning when Mr. McVeigh was being held in Oklahoma City, a lineup was held and various people asked to come down and see if they could identify the individuals in the lineup, one of whom was Tim McVeigh. Tom Kessinger was not asked to come to Oklahoma City and neither was Vickie Beemer and neither was Eldon Elliott.
On April the 30th, seven days after Mr. McVeigh's image had been around the world, our proof will show, numerous times, Kessinger is approached and asked if he can identify the person that rented the truck. By April the 30th, 1995, Tom Kessinger knew that the Government had charged Tim McVeigh with the Oklahoma City bombing and believed he had rented that truck and had driven it to Oklahoma City.
Mr. Kessinger identified in the lineup Tim McVeigh and said, "This is the person that came in."
Mr. Kessinger himself will testify that Tim McVeigh had been seen by him coming out of the Noble County Jail wearing this orange jumpsuit, shackled and chained and surrounded by FBI agents and sheriff deputies. He knew who the Government thought had rented the truck and set off the bomb.
Mr. Kessinger, even though the FBI advised him not to watch media coverage, occasionally caught glimpses of it on television.
In fact, on May the 2nd, 1995, he telephoned Special Agent Scott Crabtree and said that he had been watching television, briefly switching channels, and had seen a media depiction of John Doe 2 on television. Mr. Crabtree reminded him again that he wasn't supposed to watch the media or be influenced by it.
Mr. Kessinger was contacted again on May the 8th by the same two FBI agents, Doyle and Koziol. On that date he did not tell Koziol or Doyle that he had been mistaken about John Doe 2.
On May the 23rd, Kessinger himself was contacted again, but this time by FBI Special Agents West and Dobson, again to talk about what he knew. He did not tell West or Dobson that he had been mistaken about John Doe 2.
The next month, in June, the evidence will show Kessinger was shown a photograph of a cap worn by a man named Todd Bunting on April 18, 1995.
Our evidence will be that Kessinger and Beemer and Elliott, if they identified anybody, were confused and when they were describing the people that were in on Monday afternoon to rent the Ryder truck that carried the bomb, the actual physical description they gave was of the two men that came in 24 hours later at the same hour and rented a Ryder truck, Michael Hertig and Todd Bunting.
When the FBI agent showed a photograph of the cap worn by Mr. Bunting -- by Mr. Bunting, he wore this cap -- they covered up the face so that all you could see was the cap. Kessinger looked at it and he said, This is not the cap, not the cap worn by John Doe 2 on April 17, 1995.
Kessinger again said John Doe 2 accompanied Kling when Kling rented the Ryder truck.
In November of 1996, a year and a half later, the evidence will be that Mr. Kessinger decided that Todd Bunting was in fact John Doe 2. He reached this opinion after meeting with the Government prosecutors. He had had meetings, according to the evidence, on April the 19th with Mr. Crabtree; on April the 20th with Mr. Rozycki, two meetings with Jean Boylan, that's an artist that the FBI used, a composite sketch artist; a meeting on April 24, one on April 27, one on April 29, one on April 30, May 2nd, May 3d.
In all of these meetings Mr. Kessinger did not change his description of John Doe 1 or the statement that John Doe 2 was accompanied by Robert Kling. That change occurred after he met with the prosecutors.
The second person present was Eldon Elliott, the owner -- I can finish Mr. Elliott or pause here.
THE COURT: Well, how much longer do you think it will be entirely?
MR. JONES: 45 minutes.
THE COURT: Then I think we'll pause here.
Members of the jury, we'll, as usual, take a rest stop; and again, please continue to avoid discussion of anything in connection with this case, as I'm sure you will.
You're going to hear me say this all the time. You're going to get tired of hearing me say it, but it needs to be in the record that I always caution the jury when you leave the courtroom. So you're excused now and we'll be back in about 20 minutes.
THE COURT: Mr. Jones, you may continue.
MR. JONES: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, before the recess, I was describing to you what the three people at Elliott's remembered about the two men that came in to rent the Ryder truck that the FBI says carried the bomb.
From both the standpoint of the Government's evidence and ours, this is the critical event; and that is why I'm spending the time to tell you now, because we won't put on our case until much later, what we believe the evidence will show.
I have described for you what I believe the evidence will show Mr. Kessinger remembered as one of the people that was in the room the entire time Mr. Kling was. Mr. Elliott was not in the room except briefly.
I left off by telling you Mr. Elliott's memory as I believe the evidence will show it. Mr. Elliott, as Ms. Beemer had said to Mr. Kling, was working at his body shop. And I should say parenthetically that the rental of Ryder trucks is incidental to his body shop. His principal business there is he's got a body shop; but he's also got the Ryder truck franchise, and it's hooked up by the computer system to the Ryder office, wherever the corporate headquarters are.
In any event, be that as it may, he was working that Saturday morning, as he did most Saturday mornings, at his shop on April 15, 1995.
This fellow Kling comes up to him, and they have a brief conversation about putting a deposit on the truck. This is about 8:45 Saturday morning.
Kling paid the entire sum, which was exactly $280.32 to rent the Ryder truck. Elliott's memory was that Kling was approximately the same height as Elliott, and Elliott will testify that his height is about 5' 10".
Kling on this Saturday morning was wearing a camouflage military T-shirt, and he had a wrinkle or a drawn-in mark on his chin.
Kling came back to Elliott's Body Shop on Monday, April 17, 1995; and according to Mr. Elliott, this was about 4:20 p.m. Elliott asked Kling at that time if he had changed his mind about insurance and whether Kling wanted to inspect the truck with Elliott.
Now, this was important to Mr. Elliott, because if Kling wanted insurance, Elliott didn't have to inspect the truck, because if there was any marks on it or damage, it was covered by insurance. But if Kling didn't want insurance, then Elliott had the obligation to take a form and go out and inspect the truck and mark on the form whatever damage was already on the truck so that presumably when Kling turned in the truck, he wouldn't be charged for damage that was already on the truck before he rented it.
Elliott himself remembers that on that Monday afternoon, Kling was accompanied by John Doe 2, or another man. Elliott remembers that the second man had a hat with blue stripes or lightening on the side of it. He remembers that John Doe 2 talked to Robert Kling briefly and that John Doe 2 was a little shorter than Kling.
Also, Elliott remembers that on April 17, Kling was wearing Army fatigues or military-type clothing when he was in picking up the truck.
The individual with Kling on Monday was described by Elliott as being about 5' 7" to 5' 8", wearing a white cap with blue stripes.
In June of 1995, the Government attorneys showed Mr. Elliott a photograph of a cap worn by Todd Bunting on April 19 -- or actually, the next day, April 18, 1995, the Tuesday before the bomb went off on Wednesday.
Mr. Elliott, like Mr. Kessinger, told the prosecutors that the cap was not the same one worn by John Doe 2.
Mr. Elliott again told the prosecutors that Mr. Kling was with a John Doe 2 when Kling rented the truck.
Mr. Elliott was interviewed on numerous occasions in late April: on the 20th, again on the 20th, on the 27th. He was not invited down to Oklahoma City. He wasn't shown a photographic lineup. He was contacted again by the FBI on May 8. He told them he had no new information. And on May 19, he was again interviewed, this time concerning the color of the Ryder truck.
And on June 6, 1995, Mr. Elliott was served with a grand jury subpoena. On June 8, approximately 50 days after the Oklahoma City bombing, he was asked for the first time -- on June 8 -- to look at a photo lineup. He had never been asked to participate in the lineup, he had never been asked to look at a photo spread or a photo lineup prior to June 8.
Before that time, he had seen countless media depictions of Tim McVeigh coming out of the Noble County Jail. He admits himself that he saw some of them; but on that day, almost two months after the bombing, shown the spread, he identifies Tim McVeigh.
The third person present was Vickie Beemer. She was the bookkeeper; and she worked the counter at Elliott's Body Shop. She was the one who actually handled the transaction. She stood directly across from Kling almost the entire time. Kessinger -- he'll testify, he'll show you where he was sitting. He was kind of sitting over here. The counter goes like that; but Vickie Beemer is directly across the counter for 10, 15 minutes with this man Kling.
She starts the paperwork. A reservation has been made. It's been prepaid with cash. The truck is there.
According to her, Kling tells her that his birthday is April 19; and Vickie Beemer states to Kling that she had been married longer than Kling had been alive.
She remembered that Kling had telephoned her on April 14 to do a rate quote. He had provided to her Omaha, Nebraska, as an address. She told the FBI she could not remember his face. She could not remember what Robert Kling's face looked like, but she did remember that a second person accompanied him.
While she could not remember Kling's face, she stated that he was approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall, medium build. She was interviewed by the FBI on the 19th, the 20th, the 27th, the 28th, May 5, 8, June 6, June 9, June 28, November 14, 1996. In none of these interviews did she ever change her indication that Robert Kling was accompanied by John Doe 2.
On August 1, 1995, the proof will show that Vickie Beemer came before the grand jury in Oklahoma City; and when asked by the prosecutor how certain she was that somebody was with Kling when he rented the truck, she responded, "Without a doubt, a hundred percent sure."
She told the grand jury Kling was 5' 10" to 5' 11".
On Tuesday, the 18th of April, at the same hour, approximately 4:30, two men entered Elliott's. One is about the same height as Tim McVeigh, about the same build, and about the same facial features, except he has a mustache, or at least he did then. The other gentleman who accompanied him is a shorter man with a kind of a tan complexion. He has black hair, has a tattoo, and he's a kind of a stocky fella.
The taller man is Sergeant Michael Hertig. The shorter man is Todd Bunting. Todd Bunting has a hat that has stripes on it, like lightening. It's white and blue. He calls it his Carolina Panther hat.
The proof will show that Mr. Elliott and Ms. Beemer and Mr. Kessinger are mistaken about two men being there on Monday and in their confusion described to the FBI -- honestly, I'm sure -- the people on Monday for the people on Tuesday, or the proof will show that the two people on Monday bear a striking resemblance to the two people on Tuesday, or it will show there was only one person on Monday; and our proof is if they're not even sure about whether there was a second one, how can they be sure what the first one looks like?
But based upon the sketch -- and you will see Michael Hertig in this courtroom, and you see Tim McVeigh, and you'll see the sketch, and you will see Todd Bunting. That sketch was taken around Junction City until it got to the Dreamland Motel; and Lea McGown said, "Looks like Tim McVeigh." And indeed, it does. It also looks like Michael Hertig; and John Doe 2 looks like Todd Bunting, or he could look like the person that Dana Bradley saw exiting the truck.
But based upon Tom Kessinger and Eldon Elliott and Vickie Beemer's description, principally upon Kessinger's, the sketch is prepared. And down the street, registered in his own name, is Tim McVeigh, in Room 25 of the Dreamland. Sergeant Hertig has already picked up his Ryder truck and headed down to the southeastern part of the United States where he lives.
On April 19, Kathryn Ridley and Trudy Rigney, Katherine Cregan, Charlotte Thomas, Raymond Johnson, and Anita Hightower and Robert Chipman were working outside the Murrah Building; and they, too, were killed. And later in the day, Rebecca Anderson, a nurse who came down to help rescue, was hit on the head by a falling object and died. She lost her life trying to save the others.
Later that day, an alert highway trooper by the name of Charles Hanger is driving on Interstate 35; and he stops an automobile, Mercury Marquis, and he stops it because there is no license tag on the back. He pulls over. The car in front of him pulls off the highway and stops; and he goes up, and there is some conversation. And he notices that Tim McVeigh is carrying a pistol, and so he places him under arrest for the misdemeanor offense of carrying a concealed weapon.
Part of the arrest scene is video taped. Not all of it, but part of it is video taped; and there is a record in the office of the Oklahoma State Patrol at Pawnee, Oklahoma, showing the precise time that Trooper Hanger called in and the precise time that he placed Mr. McVeigh under arrest.
Our proof with respect to that in reference to Oklahoma City will be somewhat different from that of the Government's, but I won't go into that at this time.
Mr. Hanger stopped Mr. McVeigh not because he was speeding, not because of anything that had happened in Oklahoma City, not because he was driving erratically but because he didn't have a license plate on the back of his car. He asked for Mr. McVeigh's driver's license. He noticed the bulge; and Mr. McVeigh, according to Mr. Hanger, told him immediately that he had a gun. Mr. McVeigh cooperated and complied with all of the requests of Mr. Hanger. And the man that the Government says killed 167 people an hour and a half below -- before made no offensive move towards Mr. Hanger, even though he had a number of opportunities to pull the weapon. He was polite and cooperative in every respect. He did not appear scared or nervous.
Mr. McVeigh told Trooper Hanger where he had purchased the car, how much he had paid for it; and Mr. McVeigh further advised Trooper Hanger that he was in the process of moving to Arkansas and had taken one load of his belongings there and was on his way back to pick up another load; and there is evidence that Mr. McVeigh had spent a lot of time in Arkansas over the years and had gone over there to look for real estate in western Arkansas.
Mr. Hanger requested to look at Mr. McVeigh's car, which Mr. McVeigh agreed to. Mr. McVeigh did not have a key, so he told Trooper Hanger to push the button in the glove box and it would open the trunk. Nothing was found in the trunk that was remarkable or illegal.
Trooper Hanger made no connection with the bombing in Oklahoma City and Mr. McVeigh. He put Mr. McVeigh under arrest and drove in to the county seat, which in that county would be Perry, because it's Noble County.
The jail is in the courthouse. When he got down to the jail, because this was a routine misdemeanor arrest, the routine procedure was followed. Mr. McVeigh was booked into the Noble County Jail by Marsha Moritz. Ms. Moritz had Trooper Hanger go into a room adjacent to the booking room in order to change into the usual orange coveralls that Mr. McVeigh had to wear as a prisoner.
Mr. McVeigh's belongings were treated as any other prisoner's belongings. Smaller items go into a canvas bag, and then that is put into a larger paper grocery sack with the prisoner's other items of clothing. Mr. McVeigh was no exception. The usual practice is to reuse the grocery sack and to reuse the paper sack.
His items of personal property were put into this canvas bag. His other clothing was put into a paper grocery sack. His name was written on it, just as other prisoners who had used it before had their name written on it, and it was stored in the property room.
No special care or maintenance was taken with the personal property, because it wasn't considered evidence, because Mr. McVeigh's personal property was irrelevant to the charge for which Mr. Hanger had arrested him on.
This is the testimony that the sheriff and the deputy in the jail will give.
And then on Friday, the FBI became involved for the reasons indicated. Mr. McVeigh was waiting to go to court. He was in the courtroom across the hall, when Sheriff Cook got the call from the FBI that something might be up.
So Sheriff Cook took Mr. McVeigh back up to the jail on top of the courthouse there in Perry. Mr. McVeigh had previously called a local attorney, a man by the name of Royce Hobbs; and he had tried to contact a bondsman about making bond on these misdemeanor charges.
But even though Mr. McVeigh had been in the jail since Wednesday afternoon and it was now Friday, he had yet to appear before the judge on this misdemeanor. No bond had been set, so he couldn't get out of jail.
The attorney that Mr. McVeigh called, Royce Hobbs, tried to see Mr. McVeigh three or four times but was denied that right. And finally, along in the midafternoon, got frustrated about it and filed a writ of habeas corpus with the job demanding to see Mr. McVeigh. Of course, at that time, no one knew for sure why he couldn't.
And then at approximately 4:30 Central Standard Time, Mr. McVeigh walked out with Special Agent Floyd Zimms on one side and -- I've forgotten the name of the gentleman on the other side, surrounded by the Noble County deputies and walked into history.
During the rest of the day, the FBI collected the evidence in the Noble County Jail, the clothing. They went out and took custody of Mr. McVeigh's automobile. The automobile was sent to Washington. And while this is going on, people from the FBI are down in Oklahoma City, same time the rescue effort is going on, same time the recovery of the bodies is going on.
This material is sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation laboratory to be analyzed and collected and reports written.
Mr. Hartzler indicated there could be some criticism of the Federal Bureau of Investigation laboratory. That is not our proof. Our proof will be evidence concerning contamination at the scene, at the laboratory, lack of skilled analysis, using people who are, shall we say, more law enforcement oriented than scientific oriented. And just like the Bridges card, just like the eyewitness identification and the other matters that we will present in evidence, instead of it being a scientific inquiry, the evidence, our proof will show, was slanted towards the prosecution's theory.
Serious consequences for the FBI and our client grow out of that; and at the appropriate place and in the appropriate manner and with the appropriate witnesses, we will discuss with you in detail those scientific tests and personnel and what happened at the Murrah Building and in the transportation and in the FBI laboratory.
The individuals primarily responsible for the supervision and collection will not give evidence of an expert nature in this case; but they handled it, performed examination and tests, and, our evidence is, contaminated it, misstated it, abused it, manipulated it, and engaged in forensic prostitution.
And then it was given over to people like Linda Jones; and the Government brings in someone from one of the world's most renowned laboratories, all the way in Europe, Linda Jones. But whatever Linda Jones saw or did or whatever Stephen Burmeister saw or did or examined was a Typhoid Mary before they got it.
Tim McVeigh had earplugs. He was a hunter and a shooter, and he carried a gun with him, just like many hunters and shooters do.
He had nitrates on him because that's found on guns and ammunition. And whether he had PETN or EDGN depends upon the evidence of contamination and the qualifications of the people that reached that conclusion. It also depends on whether PETN and EDGN was found at the scene. If it wasn't, it has no significance.
If Tim McVeigh built the bomb and put it in the truck, our proof will be that his fingernails, his nostrils, his hair, his clothing, his car, his shoes, his socks would have it all over them. They don't.
Out of 7,000 pounds of debris, there is less than half a dozen pieces of evidence of a forensic nature; and we will go over each one of them with you. And our evidence will be that they do not prove Mr. McVeigh guilty or a participant in this bombing.
I apologize for the time -- I don't apologize. I take it back. I don't apologize for the time. This is an important case. You know it. It's the only opportunity I will have probably for several weeks, if not several months, before we put on our case. I thank you for your attention, and I believe that you now know what I meant when I said every pancake has two sides.