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TV Station Retracts Story on Prosecutor’s Presence at Simpson Estate With PM-Simpson-Side

July 15, 1994

TV Station Retracts Story on Prosecutor’s Presence at Simpson Estate With PM-Simpson-Side Effects

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A TV station today retracted a story that a prosecutor was at O.J. Simpson’s estate before a search warrant had been issued.

″We want to apologize,″ KCBS reporter Harvey Levin said during a noon newscast. ″We now have reason to believe that we made a mistake in one of our reports.″

KCBS had reported that Marcia Clark was at the property June 13 at least 17 minutes before the warrant was signed by a judge at 10:45 a.m. It said its videotape showing Clark was automatically stamped with the time.

The station said the time marking on the tape could indicate 10:28 p.m. instead of 10:28 a.m.

The district attorney’s office had strongly denied Clark was there before the warrant was issued.

The report had raised questions about the legality of the search at Simpson’s estate the day after his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death outside Ms. Simpson’s condo.

″We have reasonable doubt, so we are retracting the story,″ said Sybil MacDonald, director of media relations for KCBS.

Prosecutors thanked the station for retracting the story.

″(We) appreciate them taking responsibility, taking responsible action,″ said Suzanne Childs, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. ″We are all very concerned about seeking fairness and justice.″

A source close to the investigation told The Associated Press that Clark got to the mansion at 12:30 p.m. and stayed about an hour to watch the search, which already had turned up bloodstains and a bloody glove.

If Clark had helped search the estate before the warrant was issued, that could have boosted defense efforts to have evidence seized at the mansion excluded from trial.

Also today, a judge granted prosecutors two more weeks to decide whether to charge Al Cowlings with helping his friend Simpson flee from police after he was charged with murder.

Deputy District Attorney Jaime Hernandez said prosecutors were still investigating Cowlings’ role in the 60-mile nationally televised freeway chase June 17.

Cowlings, a former football teammate of Simpson’s, is free on $250,000 bail and has not been formally charged.

The freeway chase, with Cowlings at the wheel and Simpson in the back with a gun to his head, ended with Cowlings pulling into the driveway of Simpson’s home and Simpson surrendering.

Outside court Friday, Cowlings’ attorney, Donald Re, would not answer questions about Cowlings’ actions but said he should be praised.

″This man is a hero,″ Re said. ″A hero is somebody who risks his life for something that he thinks is important. This man risked his life to try to save his friend and he did it.″

Re said Cowlings’ life was in danger because police might have shot him.

Simpson’s lawyer, Robert Shapiro, has said that Simpson had planned to go to his wife’s grave and commit suicide and that Cowlings had talked him out of it.

Re said Cowlings had no knowledge of a passport or $10,000 in cash allegedly found by police in the Ford Bronco that Cowlings drove.

In another development Thursday, KCBS quoted an unidentified source as saying that on the night of the slahings, the Simpsons’ 8-year-old daughter, Sydney, overheard Ms. Simpson crying and talking with an unidentified friend after she returned from a restaurant.

The TV station said its source cited a police report. The report didn’t indicate whether the friend was at Ms. Simpson’s condominium or was talking with Ms. Simpson on the telephone, KCBS said.

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