Criminalist recants testimony on bloody glove
Earlier comments bolstered defense theory of tamperingJanuary 15, 1997
Web posted at: 9:00 p.m. EST
SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- Los Angeles Police Department criminalist Dennis Fung returned to the stand for a third time in the O.J. Simpson civil case Wednesday, as plaintiffs sought to clarify Fung's earlier testimony that gave the defense an opening to challenge bloody-glove evidence.
As a witness for the defense on January 8, Fung testified that a photograph of the leather glove found at the crime scene showed a cut on the fourth finger, while the one placed into evidence in the trial did not have a cut. He admitted that he could not be certain it was the same glove.
Fung's testimony led the defense to suggest that the crime scene glove had been switched.
But on Wednesday, Fung said he was sure that the glove now in evidence was the same one he collected at the crime scene on June 13, 1994, the day after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
'I was mistaken'
Defense lawyer Robert Baker accused Fung of "fixing" his testimony under pressure from the LAPD.
"I didn't lie, but I was mistaken," Fung insisted, during a combative face-off with Baker.
Baker's questions Wednesday were ruled argumentative, but Fung insisted he knew he was wrong shortly after he testified.
"Have you had an opportunity to look at other pictures of those gloves?" asked plaintiff's attorney Tom Lambert, who brought Fung back to the stand.
"Yes," Fung said.
"Do you now believe those pictures show a tear in the glove?" the attorney asked.
"No," Fung said. "The white area appears to be some kind of debris," he added hesitantly.
Lambert continued: "Do you now have any doubt this is the glove you booked in evidence?"
"It is the same glove," Fung said.
Fung said he had previously realized that what he said was wrong as he left the courtroom.
"While I was out in the hall, it dawned on me that this defect is white and a piece of debris is white and the lining of the glove is brown," he said.
"I looked at both the glove and the picture and confirmed I had been in error," he told jurors.
Baker arose and said sarcastically, "Mr. Fung, you find yourself in a bad spot here."
"Yes," Fung agreed. But he denied that he was under pressure to change his story.
Experts can discuss shoes
Earlier Wednesday, a California appeals court cleared the way for plaintiffs' lawyers to question two expert witnesses about recently revealed photographs that purportedly show O.J. Simpson wearing the same rare type of shoes apparently worn by the killer.
The appeals court's rejection of the writ filed by the defense opens the way for plaintiffs to question FBI Agent Gerald Richards, a photo expert, and William Boziak, a shoe expert, about the 30 pictures made by free-lance photographer E.J. Flammer.
The plaintiffs' lawyers contend the latest photos support another photo taken by photographer Harry Skull and introduced earlier in the trial. Experts have testified that Simpson was wearing Bruno Magli shoes in the pictures.
Richards, who began his rebuttal testimony Tuesday afternoon, returned to the stand Wednesday to continue explaining his opinion that the Skull photo was authentic. Richards is expected to testify about the Flammer photos on Thursday.
O.J. Simpson was acquitted in October 1995 of the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend, but has been sued by the families of the victims, who claim he is liable for their deaths.
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