CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Tumultuous week as trial nears end

September 16, 1995
Web posted at: 10:50 p.m.

[Jim Hill] From Correspondent Jim Hill

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson trial are expected to wrap up their rebuttal to the defense's case next week. Meanwhile, defense lawyers are scrambling to secure another witness to bolster their conspiracy theory.

[Frederic Whitehurst] Controversial FBI agent Frederic Whitehurst was expected to be questioned by both sides Saturday. Whitehurst has claimed the FBI crime lab is biased toward prosecutors. "What I'm talking about," he said, "is a small group of people who've become loose cannons and an embarrassment to the FBI."

Simpson's lawyers want him to testify, but it will be up to Judge Lance Ito to decide whether to allow the testimony. Loyola University Professor Stan Goldman doesn't see that happening. "If all Whitehurst has is arguments or evidence that the FBI may have done things in other cases ... I just don't see (Ito) doing it."

The week in court began with the defense refusing to rest its case, even though it had no more witnesses to call at the time. "As the court is aware, the defense never rests," said Johnnie Cochran. "But more specifically, in this case, we cannot rest at this point." The defense said it needed more time to appeal an issue concerning former detective Mark Fuhrman.

[Photo of gloves] Ito ordered prosecutors to proceed with their rebuttal case. They called a glove expert, Richard Rubin, in an attempt to show that the crime scene gloves were the same kind Simpson wore in photographs taken between 1991-94. The defense, trying to show that Rubin was biased, said he had written a note to prosecutors saying he hoped he could make it to their victory party.

On Wednesday, the defense received bad news from the Court of Appeals. Attempts to recall Fuhrman and to have some of his testimony struck were rejected by the court. The court also overruled Ito's decision to inform jurors that Fuhrman had taken the Fifth Amendment outside of its presence.

Meanwhile, prosecutors played a videotaped interview with a jail nurse who took a blood sample from Simpson. The defense has claimed that some of the 8 cc's of blood taken was missing and may have been planted as evidence. But the nurse, Thano Peratis, said his earlier estimate of 8 cc's was wrong. He said that he later came to the conclusion that he had drawn 6 1/2 cc's instead.

[Dr. Henry Lee] The week that began with a twist ended with one as well. Defense expert and forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee said his testimony about bloody imprints at the crime scene had been misinterpreted to indicate there were shoe prints of a second "mystery" killer. A prosecution FBI witness, special agent William Bodziak, testified that the imprints did not come from shoes, but were from a print imbedded in the walkway, probably made when the concrete was poured.

Lee countered that he never said that the imprints were shoe prints. They could be caused by any kind of object with a parallel linear design, he said. He also voiced strong support for the work of the FBI crime lab and said that he wouldn't testify again in the case. Lee is considered the top forensics expert in the United States and is a centerpiece of the Simpson defense.



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