The Prosecution Rests

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DENVER: The government's case against Oklahoma City Bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh ended as emotionally as it began: with the dramatic testimony of survivors who saw their friends and coworkers die in the blast. Florence Rogers, president of the Federal Credit Union in Oklahoma City, was having a leisurely staff meeting on the third floor of the Murrah Building when the bomb exploded. "I was thrown against the floor in kind of a tornado-like rush. When I was able to stand up, all the girls that were in my office with me had totally disappeared with the six floors above us on top of them. I never saw them again." Testimony from survivors like Rogers was one of the strongest parts of the 19-day prosecution case, notes TIME's Patrick Cole. "It was a very masterful presentation that impressed most criminal lawyers around the country: getting the jury to visualize the victims, to remind them constantly that these people had families, names and faces," Cole says. Relatives of victims also gave high marks to the prosecutors. Bud Welch, whose 23-year-old daughter Julie died in the blast, called their effort "outstanding." And Stephanie Ellingson, whose 43-year-old sister Claudette died in the blast, told Cole: "I felt they were very thorough and presented a lot of facts, but I'm anxious to hear what the defense has to say." Lawyers for McVeigh will begin their case Thursday morning.-