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Simpson defense rests


Plaintiffs begin rebuttal case next

January 14, 1997
Web posted at: 3:00 p.m. EST

SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- The defense in the O.J. Simpson civil trial rested Tuesday following testimony from Simpson's eldest daughter, Arnelle.

Arnelle Simpson's testimony was meant to corroborate statements made by her father on the stand and contradict some made by detectives who investigated the June 12, 1994, murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Arnelle Simpson testified that she was told by Detective Tom Lange that Nicole Brown Simpson and someone else had been killed. Detectives have said that they told her only of Nicole's death.

O.J. Simpson testified that he was told by telephone -- possibly by his daughter -- that his ex-wife was not the only victim in the slayings.

Arnelle Simpson, who lived in one of the guest houses on her father's estate at the time, also contradicted police testimony that she let them into her father's home through the back door.

The witness said she didn't let them in that way because she assumed the back door was locked from the inside and it cannot be opened with a key when it is locked.

Earlier, Los Angeles police officer Donald Thompson was called to the stand by the defense. He testified he received orders from lead detective Phil Vannatter on June 13 to handcuff Simpson when he returned home from Chicago.

Vannatter denied giving such an order.

The defense portion of the case began December 9 and spanned 14 court days in the civil wrongful death suit brought by the Brown and Goldman families against the former football star.

The plaintiffs' rebuttal case will begin next. That phase of the trial is expected to last four days.

Correspondent Jim Moret contributed to this report.  


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