Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Where Do You Go from Here?

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Where Do You Go from Here?

Article excerpt

TULSA (AP) -- For months, the government's cases against bombing principals Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols have consumed the lives of federal prosecutors Larry Mackey and Beth Wilkinson.

Now that both trials are over, the attorneys are pondering what the future holds for them.

"This really is a watershed moment in my life," said Mackey, who was the lead prosecutor in the Terry Nichols trial. "If there's anything I've learned from the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, it is that patience is virtue. Something will work out." In a parting interview with the Tulsa World, Mackey and Wilkinson both said the case has changed them professionally and personally. "There never again will be a crime against this country like this one I pray, and it presented special challenges professionally," said Mackey, who has returned to Indiana. "But nothing could be more special, as a lawyer, than the sense of pride in the work and that greatest treasure: friendships with the Oklahoma City victim community. My life has been changed by them forever." Wilkinson, who has returned to the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, said she already is involved in some small projects and will take a long vacation. "I'm not ready anytime soon" to get involved in an all-consuming project, she said. "When you're involved to that degree, it's hard to attend to other things in life, to family and friends. To reading a book. You become very myopic. It doesn't make for being a very interesting person." Mackey and Ms. Wilkinson, who participated in both trials, believe the verdicts will stand. "I feel very confident that the judge took away from the defendants the critical, tough legal issues -- change of venue, separating the trials and certain evidentiary issues," Mackey said. "Those are not available on appeal, and I feel confident the convictions will be upheld." Nichols, 43, received a life sentence after being convicted of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the April 19, 1995, bombing that resulted in 168 deaths, hundreds of injuries and significant damage or outright destruction to buildings in downtown Oklahoma City. Nichols was acquitted of murder and weapons offenses. …

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