CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Simpson jury reaches a verdict


Judge Ito extends "trial of the century" for an extra day

October 2, 1995
Web posted at: 6:40 p.m. EDT

LOS ANGELES (CNN)--Two hours after the O.J. Simpson jury began deliberations, they asked to have the testimony of limo driver Allan Park reread to them. A little more than an hour later, just before 3:00 p.m. PDT, the jury returned to the courtroom to announce they had a verdict.

However, Judge Lance Ito is going to make the world sit on the edge of their seats and wait until Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. EDT (10:00 a.m. PDT) to have the jury announce the decision they've reached.(366K AIFF sound or 366K WAV sound)

When Judge Ito asked the jurors if they had indeed reached a verdict, a few jurors smiled and nodded, others said "yes" out loud.

The jurors appeared more relaxed than they have in previous weeks, and they did not look distressed. Simpson and Douglas

Defense attorney Carl Douglas and O.J. Simpson watched the jury carefully, looking for any indication of the verdict. Upon leaving the courtroom, Simpson let out a loud breath, as if he had been holding it.

Prosecutors did not make any comment when leaving the courtroom.

The usually well-dressed jurors in the O.J. Simpson case were dressed casually on Monday, many of them in blue jeans. Only one older male juror was dressed in a suit.

Juror #1, the forewoman, appeared to be listening intently throughout the read-back of the testimony. She sat upright with her chin resting in her hand. Other jurors were at times looking away, but appeared to be listening to the testimony. There was very little note taking.

One older female juror took notes at the point in the testimony when Allan Park said he went to Simpson's gate and buzzed to get in at 10:40 p.m. PDT.

Earlier today, jurors in the O.J. Simpson trial asked to be read back testimony from Park, a limousine driver and a key prosecution witness, who drove Simpson to the airport the night of the murders.

Park was important to the prosecution's timeline, and he also testified he didn't see Simpson's Bronco parked in front of his house.

The jury requested testimony from March 28, which defense attorney Carl Douglas said stopped in the middle of cross examination. Ito said he would have the entire transcript of his testimony read back by the court reporter.

When Judge Ito asked the jurors if they had indeed reached a verdict, a few jurors smiled and nodded, others said "yes" out loud.

Park testified he drove by Simpson's Rockingham Avenue entrance twice on June 12, 1994, at 10:22 p.m. and 10:39 p.m. PDT, and did not see the Bronco parked there either time. He said he was watching the curb for the street numbers and did not see any car parked in front of it.

Under cross-examination, he said he wasn't looking for the Bronco and said it may have been there and he didn't notice it. He also said he didn't hear the Bronco's engine or hear a door slam, but again, he said wasn't listening for it. Parks

Park said he rang Simpson's Ashford Street entrance buzzer several times at 10:40 p.m. but there was no answer.

He said he saw a "shadowy" black person dressed in black enter the house at 10:55 p.m. while he was talking to his boss on the telephone. He also said he talked to Kato Kaelin at that time about the three thumps he had just heard on his guest house wall.

Prosecutors say the thumps were caused by Simpson running into a wall air conditioner after dropping the bloody glove, which was later found by detective Mark Fuhrman below it. Prosecutors argued that the person Park saw was Simpson.

Park then said the downstairs lights went on and a man he believed to be Simpson answered the intercom and said he overslept, had just gotten out of the shower and would be down in a minute.

Park said Simpson had with him a small black bag that was to be loaded into the limo, but said he did not see the bag again after leaving the estate. The prosecution has contended the bloody clothes and murder weapon were in that bag. The defense claims it contained golf balls.

In the limo on the way to the airport, Park said Simpson complained of being hot and asked him to roll down the window. Prosecutors told the jury it was a cool night, meaning Simpson was hot for a reason.

Under cross-examination, Park said he saw no blood on Simpson's driveway, no injuries on Simpson hands, and no blood inside the limousine after Simpson got out at the airport at 11:35 p.m..

The jurors entered Judge Ito's courtroom through a back door Monday morning and were taken to the deliberations room.

Court spokeswoman Jerrianne Hayslett said the jury was taken to the room at 9:15 a.m. PDT, but deliberations did not get under way until 9:40 a.m.. courtroom

Defense attorney Carl Douglas told reporters he would remain at the courthouse all day in case jurors send notes to the judge with questions or requests for read-backs. Ito had told attorneys they would have one hour notice to arrive at court to handle such requests.

The jury is eight black women, one black man, two white women and one Hispanic man. The alternates are a black man and a white woman.

It took the jury four minutes on Friday to pick a forewoman. She is a divorced black woman, 51, who sits in seat number one. She works as a vendor and lives in South Central Los Angeles. On her jury questionnaire she said she "respects (Simpson) as an individual based on his past accomplishments" and she said she had a "stressful, sick feeling" when she first heard Simpson was a murder suspect. She described racial discrimination against blacks as a "somewhat serious problem."

Simpson has asked to be present for all such court sessions. In the meantime, he will remain by himself in his cell at the Men's Central Jail.

The jury deliberated inside a heavily guarded room adjacent to Ito's ninth-floor courtroom, and they have immediate access to the judge.

Jurors have the option of convicting Simpson on first-degree murder, which means life in prison without parole or second- degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of at least 15 years. He is accused of slashing to death his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, on June 12, 1994.

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