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Testimony on Nicole Simpson's alleged drug use barred

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January 8, 1997
Web posted at: 6:50 p.m. EST

SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson's lawyers won't be able to ask questions about Nicole Brown Simpson's supposed drug use, Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki ruled Wednesday in the former football star's civil trial.

Fujisaki ruled that defense attorney Robert Baker could not question Brian "Kato" Kaelin on whether the former football star's slain ex-wife used drugs, saying it was "irrelevant" to the case. The ruling prevented the defense from exploring an area they once touted as crucial.

Simpson's lawyers were seeking to bolster allegations that Nicole Brown Simpson had been living dangerously in the last months of her life, possibly exposing her to someone who may have killed her and Ronald Goldman on June 12, 1994.

Petrocelli

"Just throwing out that somebody does drugs just doesn't do it," Daniel Petrocelli, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said. "You have to have direct evidence or circumstantial evidence of drug use being linked to her (Nicole Brown Simpson's) death."

Simpson was acquitted of the slayings by a criminal court jury in October 1995. He is now battling a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the families of the victims.

Flurry of objections

Baker

When Kaelin took the stand, Baker was thwarted in his questioning by a barrage of objections from Petrocelli, most of which the judge sustained. Baker did manage to ask about the thumps on the wall Kaelin said he heard outside his guest house on Simpson's estate the night of the murders.

Baker tried to get Kaelin to admit he heard the thumps at 10:40 p.m., instead of 10 minutes later, to try to show that Simpson wouldn't have been home at the time. Kaelin stood by his previous testimony.

Attorneys for plaintiffs contend the thumps were caused by Simpson falling against Kaelin's wall after returning from committing the murders.

Kaelin also testified he remembered Simpson wearing a dark-colored outfit when he left for the airport the night of the killings, contradicting other witnesses who said he was wearing denim clothing.

"It's no fun coming back," Kaelin told reporters as he left the courthouse after his brief testimony. "I've done my civil duty for like 2 1/2 years. I'm done. I hope I never have to be in a courtroom again."

Fung takes the stand

Dennis Fung

After Kaelin stepped down, Los Angeles criminologist Dennis Fung took the stand. Fung, who testified in the criminal trial, helped collect evidence from the crime scene outside Nicole Brown Simpson's condo and from O.J. Simpson's estate.

Fung, who was accused with sloppy evidence handling during the criminal trial, admitted to more confusion Wednesday when defense lawyers implied that a left-handed leather glove purportedly recovered from the murder scene had been switched.

Fung was shown a photo of the glove he collected from the scene where the bodies were found, and identified a damaged area on the fourth finger on the top, which he said had a pebble or rock embedded in it.

When Baker showed Fung the glove itself, Fung said he could find no damaged area, and the defense implied it was not the same glove. Fung then admitted he wasn't sure.

 
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