Nichols Trial: Backpedaling in Denver

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DENVER: One week into the trial of Terry Nichols the prosecution is on the defensive. Prosecutors presented a passionless opening argument after being hamstrung when Nichols lawyer Michael Tigar succeeded in keeping out of court the emotional appeals that were so effective in the McVeigh trial.

During opening statements last Monday, a nervous Larry Mackey, the lead prosecutor, kept referring to the defendant as Tim McVeigh. And with the defense having in August fired a warning salvo over emotional courtroom tactics, the prosecution's questioning of Helena Garrett, a single mother whose son Tevin died in the nursery of the Murrah building, failed to make the gut-wrenching impact it had in the McVeigh trial.

This week, prosecutors will try to get back on track by introducing testimony alleging that Nichols stole some elements of the bomb from a rock quarry in Kansas and financed the bombing by robbing a gun dealer.