Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Judge Allows Limited Bomb Trial Broadcast

DENVER, Colorado -- The judge in the Oklahoma City bombing case gave the go-ahead Wednesday for broadcasting the trial of Timothy McVeigh on closed-circuit television in the city devastated by the blast -- a move seen as a landmark victory for the growing victims' rights movement in the United States.


The decision by Richard Matsch represents the first time use of television has been approved for a federal criminal case. But Matsch, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Denver, imposed several restrictions on the broadcast, including a ban on attendance by reporters.


Instead, the judge ruled that only those injured in the blast, their families and relatives of those who died would be permitted inside the Oklahoma City auditorium where the feed of the trial, scheduled to start March 31, will be aired.


McVeigh and co-defendant Terry Nichols, who is to be tried separately at an unspecified later date, are charged with planning and carrying out the bombing on April 19, 1995, of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in which 168 people were killed and more than 800 injured.


Since the cases were moved to Denver last year because of concerns that the two men could not receive fair trials in Oklahoma City, Matsch has been under siege. Relatives of the victims worried that travel and lodging during the trials would be too expensive. The ruling Wednesday was greeted as a vindication of these efforts.


"I'm extremely pleased today," said Janet Walker, whose husband, David, was killed at his job in the Murrah building's Housing and Urban Development office. She said that as a result of the decision, "I will be in a courtroom situation," even though she cannot travel to Denver.