Ashcroft: Rudolph trial will be short

Attorney General John Ashcroft predicts Eric Rudolph's Alabama trial will be "relatively short and straightforward." Rudolph is scheduled to enter a plea today in a 1998 bombing at a Birmingham abortion clinic. It killed an off-duty police officer and critically injured a clinic nurse.

Evidence gathered after that blast led to Rudolph being identified as the lone suspect in four bombings, including one at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. The Olympic park bombing killed a woman and injured more than 100 people.

Rudolph had no comment as he was led into the county jail in Birmingham Monday. Hours earlier, he appeared in federal court in North Carolina, acknowledging his identity but entering no plea. The attorney who says he will represent Rudolph in Alabama refuses to say whether Rudolph maintains his innocence.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)