O.J. Trial Focuses On Footprints Top Expert Says He Detected Second Set At Crime Scene
Henry C. Lee, perhaps the most prominent criminalist in the world, testified Tuesday that he detected a second set of footprints outside Nicole Brown Simpson’s condominium on Bundy Drive, where she and Ronald Goldman were slashed and stabbed to death, that could not have come from Bruno Magli shoes.
In testimony that held the jury and spectators transfixed, Lee, a native of China who speaks in halting English, told the jury that the imprints were on the walkway, on the envelope that contained Juditha Brown’s eyeglasses and on a piece of white paper near Goldman’s body that appeared in a crime-scene photograph but was not collected by police.
Lee said the second set of prints had a parallel-line pattern different from the grid-like pattern on the Bruno Magli prints identified by an FBI expert who testified earlier for the prosecution. The prosecution was unable to establish that Simpson owned such a pair of shoes.
Asked by defense lawyer Barry Scheck if the print could have come from Goldman’s boot, Lee said, “No, I studied the boot.”
The jurors listened with rapt attention, many leaning forward in their seats. Prosecutor Cheri Lewis shook her head and returned to her seat after looking at the photo exhibits.
Also Tuesday, the jury heard from Chicago police Detective Kenneth Berris, who testified that police found bloodstains and broken glass in Simpson’s hotel suite June 13 shortly after he checked out and returned to Los Angeles.
Simpson has said he cut the middle finger of his left hand on a glass in his hotel room after being informed of the murders, not at the murder scene, as prosecutors contend. But on crossexamination by Christopher Darden, the detective conceded that he did not see blood on the shattered glass and could not determine when the blood got on the washcloth and bed sheet. He also acknowledged that he saw no blood on the bathroom floor, the carpet or the telephone.
Darden also asked about two laundry bags missing from the room, suggesting Simpson might have used them to dispose of bloody clothes.
“Did you know what happened to those laundry bags?” Darden asked.
“Those bags remain outstanding even today, isn’t that correct?” Darden continued.
“They remain unaccounted for,” the detective said.
At the beginning of the day, Judge Lance Ito said that he would decide next week on whether to allow introduction of tapes in which retired detective Mark Fuhrman reportedly makes racial slurs and that he hoped the defense would rest its case by the end of the month and that the jury could begin deliberations shortly after Labor Day.