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O.J. Simpson trial: The prosecution rests

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Editor's Note: As part of's new Crime section, we are archiving some of the most interesting content from

(Court TV) -- Developments in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson from July 5-7, 1995

FBI expert Doug Deedrick completed his direct examination by focusing on the clothing and carpet fibers that the prosecution contends link O.J. Simpson to the murders.

Deedrick testified that rose-beige fibers stuck to a ski cap near the bodies and on a bloody glove behind Simpson's house were similar to the unique carpet fibers in Simpson's white Ford Bronco. He said the rare fibers also were found on a towel, plastic bag and shovel taken from inside Simpson's Bronco.

Deedrick also said he found fibers similar to ones from Nicole Brown Simpson's dress on Ronald Goldman's shirt. Prosecutor Marcia Clark used this conclusion to assert the state's theory that Simpson first attacked his former wife with a glove touching the dress. He then attacked Goldman with the same glove touching Goldman. The dress fibers could have been transferred by the bloody glove, Deedrick said.

Deedrick used charts and pictures of the victims' bloody clothes to explain the fabric evidence to jurors. He concluded that:

  • Fibers consistent with those from the blue knit cap found at Bundy were on Goldman's shirt. No hat fibers were found on Nicole Brown Simpson's dress.
  • Goat hairs similar to the cashmere lining of the gloves -- which another witness said were the same size and model as a pair that Nicole Brown Simpson bought in New York -- were found on Goldman's shirt and on the Bundy hat. This testimony was consistent with a glove coming off during the struggle, Deedrick said.
  • Cotton fibers of a blue-black color were found on the Rockingham glove, Goldman's shirt and on the socks from Simpson's bedroom. The state believes Simpson was wearing a blue-black colored sweatshirt on the night of the murders.
  • Defense attorney F. Lee Bailey elicited from Deedrick testimony that the agent never obtained samples of clothing from law enforcement personnel at the crime scene and didn't check to see if the fibers matched the dark blue uniforms of police officers.

    He also got Deedrick to acknowledge that hair and fiber analysis is a less exact science than comparisons involving fingerprints, footprints and ballistics.

    Bailey also tried to show that Deedrick is a poorly qualified expert because he has written only a few articles about forensic science and is not a member of any professional societies, such as the American Academy of Forensic Science. Bailey could be setting the jury up for a comparison between Deedrick and defense expert Henry Lee, considered one of the most prominent forensic scientists in the country.

    Meanwhile, it's been reported that the first defense witnesses will include Simpson family members and golf buddies who will talk about Simpson's demeanor before and after the murders.

    JULY 6
    After presenting 58 witnesses and 488 exhibits, the state rested its case -- but not before offering jurors one final reminder of the brutal murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

    Immediately before resting the state's case, prosecutor Marcia Clark read three stipulations, including one declaring the last time Nicole Brown Simpson spoke to her mother: 9:40pm on June 12, 1994. In a statement, Juditha Brown said that she called her daughter at home and the two talked for a few minutes about the glasses Brown had left at the Mezzaluna restaurant.

    Prosecutors originally planned to called Brown to the witness stand, but they agreed with defense attorneys at the last minute to stipulate to her testimony.

    Absent from the stipulation regarding Brown was a claim made by prosecutor Christopher Darden in his opening statement. Darden had promised jurors that Brown would testify that O.J. Simpson exhibited obsessive behavior towards his former wife.

    But prosecutors apparently did not want Brown subjected to cross-examination. The cross-examination could have included questions about statements she made during a nationwide speaking tour or statements she made about Simpson and her daughter before she believed him responsible for the murders.

    The second stipulation involved phone records of Brown and Simpson. The phone records corroborate the time Brown called Mezzaluna to see if her glasses were still there; the time of her phone call to her daughter; and the time of police detective calls to Simpson in Chicago.

    The final stipulation brought jurors back to the crime scene. The jurors saw for the first time one particularly gruesome close-up photograph of Ronald Goldman's slashed neck. They also saw a photograph of Nicole Brown Simpson laying in a pool of blood.

    Before the state rested, defense attorney F. Lee Bailey ended his cross-examination of FBI evidence expert Doug Deedrick, eliciting a litany of concessions that could be viewed as helpful to Simpson. They included the fact that no hair consistent with the victims was found in Simpson's Bronco; no hair consistent with Simpson's was found on the Bundy glove or the Rockingham glove, and no hair consistent with Goldman's or Nicole Brown Simpson's was found on the socks in Simpson's bedroom.

    Bailey also raised the dandruff defense. He got Deedrick to concede that he found dandruff in the hairs taken from Simpson but none in the hairs found in the knit cap at the crime scene.

    On re-direct, Clark tried to rehabilitate Deedrick's testimony on several points. She asked whether Simpson could have contracted dandruff in jail, accounting for the fact that dandruff was found in the hair sample taken after he was in jail for a month. She also asked questions to show that police department uniforms are made of pure wool -- a different color and fiber -- than the black-blue cotton fibers found on the victims, the Rockingham glove and Simpson's socks.

    Deedrick also reiterated that Simpson has very distinctive hair and that the distinguishing characteristics of his hair were seen in the hairs found on the blue knit cap and on Goldman's shirt. Deedrick also insisted that his results stood independent of all the DNA blood evidence presented during the months preceding his testimony.

    The state then rested, and Judge Lance Ito dismissed the jury until Monday when the defense will start its case.

    JULY 7
    A day after the prosecution rested its case, Judge Lance Ito dealt with several important evidentiary matters.

    During arguments over the formal introduction into evidence of crime scene photographs, the prosecution revealed that Nicole Brown Simpson may have armed herself with a butcher knife after hearing suspicious noises outside her condominium moments before the killings.

    After the defense objected to the introduction of pictures showing the knife lying on a kitchen counter, prosecutor Marcia Clark argued that a fearful Nicole Brown Simpson possibly retrieved the knife and only placed it on the counter upon Ronald Goldman's arrival. Clark said the photos were relevant to show that other than the knife on the counter, the kitchen was clean.

    Judge Ito ruled the photos relevant because they showed an orderly, clean kitchen. This, the judge said, went to the issue of whether there was any intruder or assault inside the house.

    The judge also ruled that during deliberations the jurors could see the knives used for demonstration purposes during the state's case. He said they were useful because the exhibit boards displaying the knives were two-dimensional whereas the knives are three-dimensional.

    And, to no one's surprise, the judge rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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