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Both sides rest in Simpson civil trial

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Final topic of testimony is Simpson's footwear

January 16, 1997
Web posted at: 8:40 p.m. EST

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SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- Testimony ended Thursday in the O.J. Simpson civil trial after expert witnesses called by the plaintiffs attacked defense contentions that Simpson's blood was planted by police and the evidence contaminated.

The jury will have Friday off while attorneys discuss what instructions jurors should receive before beginning deliberations.

Closing arguments are to begin Tuesday, and the case is expected go to the jury on Thursday, Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki said.

Simpson was found not guilty in the June 12, 1994, murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, but relatives of the victims are suing him for liability in their deaths.

After both sides rested their cases, Fujisaki told the jury, "Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the evidence in the case." In addition to his usual admonitions, he urged jurors to stay away from computer Internet sites.

FBI expert backs plaintiffs on photos


On the final day of testimony, FBI agent William Bodziak told the jury that Simpson was wearing Bruno Magli Lorenzo-style shoes in photographs taken of him at a football game in September 1993. Experts contend that is the type of shoe worn by the killer.

Holding a size-12 Bruno Magli Lorenzo shoe in his hand, Bodziak compared it to eight enlarged photographs displayed for the jury.

"My opinion is the shoes depicted in those eight exhibits are Bruno Magli Lorenzo shoes," he said, describing them as "unique."

The photographs, taken by free-lance photographer E.J. Flammer Jr. and only recently discovered, depict Simpson wearing the same kind of footwear that experts say left bloody footprints leading away from the bodies.

On cross-examination, attorney Phillip Baker established that Bodziak was never asked to figure out whether the shoes in the photos were size 12.

Altogether, 31 photos of Simpson wearing Bruno Magli shoes have come to light, shot by Flammer and another photographer. The defense maintained to the end that the pictures are frauds and were concocted by people trying to make money on the Simpson case.

Bodziak was the last plaintiff witness in rebuttal. The defense passed up a chance to call additional witnesses.

Witness: photo fakes possible


Earlier, photographic expert Gerald Richards took the stand to testify he could not detect signs of alterations in any of the 31 photographs.

But under questioning from defense attorney Daniel Leonard, Richards conceded that someone with enough time, talent and money could create a perfect fake.

The last piece of evidence introduced by the defense was a price list from a photographer's agent in Buffalo, New York, asking for up to $18,000 from TV networks to use the pictures of Simpson on the air.

Blood contamination unlikely

Before Richards took the stand, scientist Brad Popovich said he saw no sign that blood samples analyzed by the Los Angeles Police Department were so mishandled in the crime lab they couldn't be trusted.

Popovich, a chemical molecular geneticist who runs a DNA lab in Oregon, defended the work of LAPD criminalist Collin Yamauchi who was attacked by the defense for sloppy work.

Another rebuttal scientist, Terry Lee, a researcher at the City of Hope, rebutted a central defense theory that blood taken from laboratory test tubes was planted to frame Simpson.

Lee said he doesn't believe small traces of a chemical called EDTA indicate planting of blood on a sock or a back gate at Nicole Brown Simpson's condominium. EDTA is used to preserve blood in test tubes.


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