O.J. Simpson Trial Developments, Week at a Glance
The Associated Press
May. 08, 1995
Developments last week in the O.J. Simpson trial:
MONDAY: A seventh juror, Tracy Hampton, 26, was dismissed, leaving only five alternates. She told Judge Lance Ito last month, ``I can't take it anymore.'' A 28-year-old Hispanic woman was chosen by lottery to replace Hampton. LAPD chief forensic chemist Gregory Matheson testified that blood evidence doesn't ``turn into someone else's blood'' if contaminated.
TUESDAY: Matheson said a criminalist didn't see blood on a sock found the day after the murders at the foot of O.J. Simpson's bed. He said he didn't see it either the first time he looked at it, but did see it during an inspection on Sept. 18. The defense has suggested Simpson was framed by investigators who scattered drops of his blood from a sample taken on June 13. Matheson testified Nicole Brown Simpson couldn't be excluded as a source of blood found beneath her fingernails despite a report he wrote last year saying it wasn't hers. Hampton was carried from her home on a stretcher and hospitalized for unknown reasons.
WEDNESDAY: Matheson said Ronald Goldman's blood-soaked shirt was still wet when it was packaged because when he opened it, there was an offensive odor. Matheson acknowledged criminalists used pencil to fill in some crime reports and erasures were evident; official field notes were placed in looseleaf binders rather than bound books, making it possible to switch or remove pages; and blood samples were not officially booked into evidence until three days after they were collected. Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. pressed his argument the prosecution is using ``selective disqualification'' to juggle jury composition.
THURSDAY: Matheson testified that sophisticated DNA tests, conducted by an outside lab, showed blood beneath Ms. Simpson's fingernails was consistent with her blood type. Simpler tests showed the blood to be type B, which didn't match the blood types of Simpson or the victims. He said documents indicate that 1.5 milliliters of Simpson's blood is missing from a sample taken a day after the murders. The judge refused to let the defense introduce into evidence a knife found outside Simpson's estate in July. The knife contained a trace of type B blood.
FRIDAY: The defense accused Matheson of misreading test results, saying he violated a criminalists' code of ethics. Matheson denied the charges. Ito refused to allow questioning of Matheson about whether FBI tests on two key blood samples _ a sock and a gate _ turned up signs of EDTA, a preservative used in police storage of a vial of Simpson's blood. Matheson said unknown amounts of Simpson's blood could have been left behind in test tubes or probes during testing. Ito told attorneys jury members were ``rolling their eyes'' at the repetitive nature of the questions. Victim Ronald Goldman's father and sister filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Simpson.
WHAT'S NEXT: Police photographer Mike Wilson was scheduled to take the stand today, followed by a tow truck driver who hauled Simpson's Bronco to a storage yard, and then Robin Cotton, the director of Cellmark laboratory.