“He Said It Was An Easy Target”

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DENVER: A key government witness in the Oklahoma City bombing trial told jurors that Timothy McVeigh sat in her living room several months before the attack and described his plan to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah building. "He said it was an easy target," recalled Lori Fortier, the wife of McVeigh's close friend Michael Fortier. Mrs. Fortier said that during the conversation, which took place in October 1994 in the Fortier's Arizona mobile home, McVeigh drew a diagram, using soup cans to illustrate how he planned to bundle the bomb in a shaped triangular charge for maximum damage. "He said that he and Terry (Nichols) would do it together, that Terry would mix the bomb," she said, adding that the two were out for revenge against the government for its role in Waco. From the trial, Patrick Cole reports that McVeigh stared intently at Fortier throughout her testimony, which will resume tomorrow. McVeigh's lawyers hope to attack Lori Fortier's credibility, noting that in the first few days after the blast she denied that McVeigh and her husband had anything to do with the bombing. Both husband and wife changed their stories after agreeing to a plea bargain. Michael Fortier faces up to 23 years in prison for federal charges that include failure to notify authorities of the bombing plot. Jurors today also saw the mangled rear axle from the Ryder rental truck that carried the explosives. An identification number, found on the 250-pound axle, was traced to a Ryder truck rented from a body shop in Junction City, Kansas. Employees there helped produced the sketches that led to McVeigh's arrest. Among other evidence introduced today: a crumpled business card with McVeigh's fingerprints from Paulsen's Military Supply in Wisconsin on which was scribbled, "TNT at $5 a stick. Need more."