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Archive for Saturday, March 6, 2004

Briefly

March 6, 2004

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CHICAGO

Union members cleared of arson conspiracy

Three members of a movie projectionists' union were acquitted Friday of arson conspiracy charges related to smoke-bomb attacks on theaters across the country during contract negotiations six years ago.

A federal jury deliberated only a few hours before acquitting the union's secretary-treasurer, Albin Brenkus, and two co-defendants of conspiracy to commit arson, interstate travel to commit arson and related offenses. But Brenkus was convicted of obstruction of justice for telling a co-defendant to lie to federal investigators.

The defendants were accused of setting off highly flammable smoke bombs in theaters operated by three big chains in 10 states.

Oklahoma

Attorneys quiz Nichols' jury panel

Three potential jurors were eliminated Friday as jury selection resumed in the murder trial of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols.

Once the three are replaced, the pool will continue answering questions from lawyers trying to choose the 12 people who will decide Nichols' case. The three were removed for personal reasons or potential conflicts.

On Thursday, 42 prospective jurors were selected despite objections by the defense that the panel is stacked with people who support the death penalty.

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