Nurse Who Drew Simpson's Blood Said to Be Too Sick to Testify in Court
Jul. 18, 1995
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The nurse who took blood from O.J. Simpson the afternoon he was questioned about a double murder is too ill to appear in court, so the prosecution wants to bring the jury to him.
The defense, however, says the trial could do without the nurse in person and wants to present testimony he gave earlier to a grand jury and at Simpson's preliminary hearing.
Thano Peratis' estimate about the amount of blood taken from Simpson is the basis of the defense's frame-up theory.
The nurse underwent triple bypass surgery a month ago after suffering a second heart attack, his doctor said in court papers released Monday.
``At this point in his recovery, the tension, stress and anxiety that would be produced by any court appearance, much less this one, or even subjecting him to an examination in his own home with court personnel and combative lawyers examining him and cross-examining him, would indeed (be) life threatening,'' Dr. Robert B. Chesne wrote.
But Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark said prosecutors have spoken with Chesne and he has assured him that Peratis could be questioned at Daniel Freeman Hospital, possibly in a conference room. Clark suggested the jury could be brought to the hospital or Peratis' testimony could be recorded on videotape.
At the preliminary hearing, Peratis testified he took about 8 milliliters of blood from Simpson at police headquarters June 13, 1994, less than 24 hours after the murders of Simpson's ex-wife and her friend.
The defense contends that based on Peratis' estimate, more than 1 milliliter of blood is missing _ enough blood for authorities to use to frame Simpson. Prosecutors say Peratis was giving only a rough estimate, and that if he testified he could set the record straight.
Superior Court Judge Lance Ito set a hearing for Friday to determine how to handle the Peratis testimony.
Earlier, the defense tried to force prosecutors to call Peratis during their case so the defense could cross-examine him, but the judge denied the request.