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Detective: Simpson asked no questions when told of ex-wife's death

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Nicole's condo to be auctioned

October 29, 1996
Web posted at: 7:45 p.m. EST

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SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- A Los Angeles Police detective told jurors in O.J. Simpson's wrongful-death civil trial Tuesday that Simpson asked no questions when informed that his ex-wife had been slain.

Detective Ron Phillips described the telephone call he made to Simpson in the early-morning hours of June 13, 1994, the day after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

"I told him that his ex-wife, Nicole, was killed," Phillips said. "And he said, 'Oh my God, Nicole was killed. Nicole is dead.' He kept repeating himself."

Ed Medvene, an attorney for plaintiff Fred Goldman, father of Ronald Goldman, asked Phillips if Simpson asked how Nicole had died, or where, or the circumstances of her death. To each question Phillips responded, "No."

Phillips testified that he has notified hundreds of family members about deaths. Asked how people usually respond to the news, he replied, "There's initial shock. Then they want to ask how, when, why, where, am I sure?"

"Did O.J. Simpson ask any of those questions?" Medvene asked.

"No," Phillips responded.

Although O.J. Simpson was cleared of the murders in October 1995, the families of the victims have filed civil lawsuits against him, contending he was responsible for their deaths.

Finding the gloves

Lawyers for the plaintiffs continued efforts Tuesday to head off any defense contention that some murder evidence may have been planted or tampered with.

Phillips testified that his partner, Detective Mark Fuhrman, found one glove behind Kato Kaelin's room at the estate of O.J. Simpson. Fuhrman is not being called as a witness in the civil trial. Phillips said Fuhrman told him of the discovery, then escorted him to the location. Phillips told Fuhrman to show the glove to Detectives Philip Vannatter and Tom Lange.

Lange told Phillips and Fuhrman to return to the Bundy crime scene to see if the glove at that location was a right or a left-handed glove and to have it photographed. The detectives determined that the gloves appeared to be a pair.

Three police officers insisted Monday that the bloody, left-handed leather glove found at Nicole Simpson's condo was the only glove at the crime scene. They saw it lying under a plant, blood still glistening on its surface, they said, and there was no other glove in sight.

No way, they suggested, could Fuhrman, who arrived two hours later, have lifted a matching glove and carried it to Simpson's estate. Phillips testified Fuhrman was never alone with any evidence.

The defense is expected to try to show Fuhrman was a racist who planted the bloody glove found at Simpson's estate. They are also expected to contend that other blood found at the murder scene and in Simpson's Bronco was planted.

Other bloody evidence

Also Tuesday, police officers testified about blood they saw at the crime scene. Sgt. David Rossi was adamant that he saw blood stains on the rear gate of Nicole Brown Simpson's condominium, even though defense lawyers tried to get him to say that the drops weren't there until a photo depicting them was taken about three weeks later.

According to Officer Donald Thompson, "I examined the gate and saw droplets of blood on the lower portion ... that was about 7:15 that morning (June 13)."

Thompson also testified he saw blood smears inside O.J. Simpson's white Bronco the morning following the murders, as well as blood drops along Simpson's driveway.

"On my initial look into the Bronco I observed a smear on the center console," Thompson said. "As it got lighter, I did see additional spots and smears. I saw a spot on the front passenger seat, the steering wheel, and I saw an additional smear on the center console. ... It appeared to me to be blood."

Condo hasn't sold

The home of Nicole Brown Simpson will be auctioned December 8. The condominium at 875 S. Bundy has been on the market for more than two years. The murders took place outside.

The Brown family made the decision to auction the condo, according to Barry Bierman, an agent with Gamson and Associates, the real estate company handling the sale.

Nicole Brown Simpson purchased the condominium January 11, 1994, for $625,000. One unsuccessful offer was made about a year ago. The original real estate broker lived in the home for six months to try to reduce the stigma attached to it because of the slayings.

Anyone who wants to see the interior before the auction must pay a $25 admission fee, which will be donated to the Nicole Brown Simpson Charitable Foundation.


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