Fortier Challenged

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DENVER: Stephen Jones scored points in his cross-examination of Michael Fortier, charging that Timothy McVeigh's friend changed his story, his clothes and demeanor for the sake of obscuring his own involvement in the Oklahoma bombing. Two years ago, a scruffy Fortier sported a beard and earring. His speech was littered with vulgarities. On an FBI wiretap recording soon after the attack, Fortier boasted to a friend of making money by being the government's star witness. But over the past two days in court, in a new suit and haircut, the clean-shaven Fortier answered many questions with a polite "Yes, sir." When Jones challenged the transformation, Fortier shot back: "Of course I'm changing my language. I'm not going to sit here and curse in front of all these people." While Jones may have succeeded in casting doubts on Fortier's credibility, the jury is unlikely to forget Fortier's powerful testimony yesterday that he knew his friend had bombed the Murrah building.