Jurors saw photographs and diagrams of O.J. Simpson’s blood-stained Bronco on Tuesday but were rushed out of the courtroom moments before the judge dressed down a prosecutor for “incredible” disobedience.
Deputy District Attorney Hank Goldberg, reprimanded in the morning for eliciting testimony about a luggage tag and airline ticket found at Simpson’s home, drew the judge’s ire in the afternoon when he presented an evidence list that included the same items.
Before the trial, attorneys on both sides had agreed not to use the ticket and tag seized the day after Simpson’s ex-wife and her friend were murdered.
As Goldberg offered various explanations of his misstep, including blaming defense attorney Barry Scheck for not alerting him to the problematic list, Superior Court Judge Lance Ito interrupted.
“Mr. Goldberg,” he said, “if I were in your shoes … I would be contemplating how best to salvage my credibility before the court.”
The boyish-looking Goldberg, who was questioning a witness in the nationally televised trial for the first time, refused to back down. After Ito suggested a way out Goldberg said, “If that is the way the court feels it should be resolved, I would agree to that.”
“Well, somehow I don’t get the feeling that it’s heartfelt,” the judge said tersely.
“Trust me,” Ito continued. “I don’t mean to embarrass you by this, but you’ve got to admit it’s incredible that this could happen on the same subject twice in the same day.”
Finally, Goldberg told the judge he was sorry.
Ito ordered that the two items be blotted out of the document.
In the morning session, Ito told jurors the prosecution had broken a pretrial agreement Monday.
Then, hours later, when the picture of the property report went up on the 7-foot-high screen, the defense quickly requested a bench conference.
The judge told jurors to leave, then rushed over to the jury box to view the screen from their vantage point. His anger quickly became plain.
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