CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Prosecution rests rebuttal case in Simpson trial

September 19, 1995
Web posted at 12:38 a.m. EDT

From Correspondent Jim Hill

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The prosecution in the O.J. Simpson double murder trial ended its rebuttal case on Monday. But prosecutor Marcia Clark reserved the right to call more witnesses if the defense raises new issues with its remaining witnesses.

O.J. Simpson's lead trial attorney read a list of witnesses he intends to call, including a most unlikely figure -- a confessed mob-world hitman named Tony Fiato, who goes by the nickname Tony the Animal. (75K AIFF or 150K WAV sound)

Defense sources say Fiato and possibly several other people heard Detective Philip Vannatter say police considered Simpson a suspect almost from the start -- before they entered Simpson's home without a warrant.

Vannatter had testified police were only concerned with the safety of people in the house, and did not think Simpson was a suspect at that time.

"I think that the testimony will cause the trier of fact to question some of the central and primary themes the prosecution has offered," said Simpson attorney Carl Douglas.

Prosecution sources say Vannatter does not recall making the comments in question.

The first defense witness of the week was a blood expert who did an experiment reportedly showing blood-stained gloves don't shrink much.

Herbert MacDonell testified that he could detect "no shrinkage or change or shift" in a pair of gloves identical to the ones allegedly worn by the killer of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.(85K AIFF or 190K WAV sound)

Prosecutors have argued the crime scene gloves didn't appear to fit Simpson because they'd shrunk.

Meanwhile, a hearing will determine if FBI agent Frederic Whitehurst can testify for the defense. Whitehurst believes the FBI crime lab is often biased toward prosecutors.

"We interviewed him over the weekend," said Deputy District Attorney Brian Kelberg. "The question is whether his testimony is relevant."

Prosecutors say the weekend interviews revealed Whitehurst has no information about the Simpson case, and they expect the judge to bar his testimony.

Defense attorneys say they want to wrap up their case this week. And clearly, they're trying to do so with a bang.

Field notes on Monday's proceedings


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