Third DNA Test Links Simpson to Murder Victims
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Yet another DNA test links O.J. Simpson to blood at scene of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, at Simpson’s estate and in his Ford Bronco, a prosecution scientist testified today.
Simpson’s DNA is consistent with that in a blood drop found closest to the bodies outside Ms. Simpson’s condominium, two blood drops from the condo walkway and a drop taken from the driveway at the Simpson estate, said Renee Montgomery, a criminalist with the state Department of Justice.
Turning to bloodstains on the console of Simpson’s Bronco, Montgomery told jurors one was a mixture of DNA matching the victims’ and Simpson’s, one matched Simpson’s and Goldman’s, one matched Ms. Simpson’s and one matched Simpson’s.
For 11 days, two scientists have given jurors lessons on DNA tests called PCR and RFLP. Montgomery analyzed a process known as D1S80.
``The way I like to look at D1S80 is the marriage of PCR and RFLP,″ she said.
She said she was called in to the Simpson case because of her experience with D1S80 tests. She has worked on more than 20 cases using D1S80.
Montgomery said she never saw any of the evidence in the Simpson case, but processed 34 evidence samples and found 11 of those to be DNA mixtures.
Jurors were attentive, taking notes during her testimony and looking at the large screen where results were displayed.
It was a far cry from Monday when the jurors stared blankly and the judge grew increasingly cranky.
Reaction to Monday’s convoluted, acronym-laden questions and answers was one of confusion.
``It’s like watching a foreign language film with no subtitles,″ said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. ``I give the jurors a lot of credit if they understood what was being said today, because I don’t think anyone else did.
``At times,″ Levenson said, ``it seemed like Barry Scheck and Gary Sims were having their own private conversation.″
Indeed, the talk from defense attorney Scheck, prosecution scientist Sims and prosecutor Rockne Harmon was full of jargon.
Referring to an enzyme used in testing, Harmon said, ``So HAE-III isn’t the only sound scientific process?″
Sims: ``That’s correct.″
Another exchange went this way:
Scheck: ``Now, in terms of PCR carryover contamination, if there were a problem of PCR carryover contamination at a laboratory such that through repetitive typing there was some 1.3 amplicons in the laboratory, are you with me _″
Scheck: ``_ that could account in terms of typing for the 1.3 lighting up persistently in various strips, even if faintly?″
And what effect does this have on jurors, who took few notes as the day wore on and have already asked the judge for longer court hours to speed the plodding trial?
``If they don’t understand it, they don’t have any choice but to ignore it,″ Levenson said.
That may be what the defense wants. Sims and another DNA expert have already testified, again in mind-boggling detail, that Simpson’s unique genetic code was found in blood drops near the bodies of his ex-wife and her friend.
Sims was dismissed from the stand Monday to attend to a family matter. But he was told to return Thursday.
Simpson and his attorneys claim Simpson was the victim of a conspiracy to frame him or the victim of sloppy evidence collection by Los Angeles Police Department criminalists.
The defense may have scored points early Monday when Scheck challenged Sims about a difficult-to-identify bloodstain found on the Bronco’s console.
Sims admitted that the identification process was ``what I would classify as a tough call. We had to take a hard look at it. But I don’t think there was a problem with the analysis.″
The answer suggested that DNA testing ``is not a concrete science,″ Loyola law professor Stan Goldman said.
``It’s not two plus two equals four. It can be interpretative,″ Goldman said. ``And if it may be wrong here, it may be wrong somewhere else.″