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NKU President to Discuss His Prosecution of Oklahoma City Bombing Conspirator

The Boston Marathon bombing last year reminded America of the risk and reality of terrorism. But the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building on April 19, 1995, remains our national touchstone for the horror of when Americans kill Americans.

Timothy McVeigh, who set off the bomb, and Terry Nichols, who helped build it, would be held accountable for what ‒ until Sept. 11, 2001 ‒ was the deadliest attack on U.S. soil, with 168 people killed and hundreds more injured.

Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mearns, an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the time, was on the team that prosecuted Nichols. After a four-month trial, Nichols was convicted, and he is serving a sentence of life without parole.

“It was an honor to represent the United States in the prosecution of the most deadly act of domestic terrorism in our nation’s history,” Mearns says today of the experience. “Professionally, the case was very challenging, because it was so complex and because there was so much public and media attention. On a personal level, the experience was very memorable. It helped shape who I am today.”

Mearns will share his reflections on that case as part of NKU’s popular [email protected] Lecture Series this month. His talk is titled “Prosecuting Domestic Terrorists: The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.”

There will be two opportunities to hear the lecture, one off NKU’s campus and one on:

  • Feb. 12, 6-7:30 p.m., Mercantile Library (414 Walnut St., Cincinnati). Tickets are $6 (students free). Purchase tickets online at
  • Feb. 19, 2-3:30 p.m., NKU Griffin Hall George and Ellen Rieveschl Digitorium. This free event is especially for NKU students, faculty, staff and alumni. RSVP to [email protected].

Photo: Geoffrey Mearns