Simpson Jurors Hear a Familiar Story of Domestic Violence
Nov. 18, 1996
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ A policeman who answered Nicole Brown Simpson's call for help five years before she was slain repeated the story for jurors in O.J. Simpson's wrongful death trial Monday, entrancing them with vivid details that opened the plaintiffs' domestic violence evidence.
``He's going to kill me! He's going to kill me!'' John Edwards recalled the hysterical woman crying out as she ran half-clothed from the bushes outside her home in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 1989.
``I said, `Who's going to kill you?' and she said, ``O.J.'' I said, `You mean O.J. Simpson, the football player?'' and she said, `Yes.''
``She was cold, wet and shivering,'' Edwards said.
Edwards already told the story to a grand jury, at a preliminary hearing and during Simpson's criminal trial. But on Monday, he added one new detail about Simpson's response that night.
``He told me: ``What makes you so special? Why do you want to make a big deal of this?''
Edwards also said Simpson changed into a dark colored jogging suit. Plaintiffs and criminal prosecutors before them have suggested that blue-black cotton fibers found at the scene of two murders could have come from such a suit, but Simpson has said he never owned such garb.
Ms. Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were found slashed to death June 12, 1994. Simpson was acquitted of murder, but victims' families are suing for his money to hold him responsible.
Jurors appeared rapt as Edwards showed them three Polaroid photos he took at the police station showing Ms. Simpson with bruises to her forehead, swollen eyes, scratches near her mouth and mud on her sweat pants.
``She was actually injured more than that,'' he said. ``She was crying. She was hysterical, and appeared to be very frightened and upset.''
Simpson pleaded no contest to spousal battery but has insisted in recent years that the incident was overblown and resulted from ``rassling'' after a New Years Eve battle that started when Ms. Simpson attacked him.
The jury also heard Los Angeles police criminalist Collin Yamauchi deny defense claims that he spilled blood from a vial containing a reference sample of Simpson's blood and contaminated other evidence with it.
Yamauchi also suggested there was nothing suspicious about the fact that he saw no blood on a pair of socks from Simpson's bedroom during two early examinations but detected blood stains later. The socks were dark colored, he said, and blood was not easily detectable.
``I could bring those socks out now and you wouldn't see blood on them,'' he said irately. ``But those socks have blood on them.''
Jurors appeared to notice a new face in the courtroom. Attorney Robert Shapiro occupied a front row seat preparing for his new role as a TV commentator at the civil trial.