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O.J.’S Defense Questions Timing Of Murders

Wed., Feb. 8, 1995

O.J. Simpson’s attorneys, attempting to undermine the prosecution’s estimate of when the defendant’s ex-wife and a friend were killed, Tuesday challenged everything from the accuracy of clocks to the memories of witnesses.

“You’re not an expert on dogs barking, as such, are you?” defense counsel Johnnie Cochran said during a particularly aggressive cross-examination. That was of Pablo Fenjves, a neighbor of Nicole Brown Simpson who said he had heard a “very unhappy” dog persistently barking from the direction of her house about 10:15 the night of the killings.

Prosecutors have said the Akita was wailing because its owner, Nicole, had just been murdered - thus setting the time of death.

Defense lawyers have sought to raise doubts about the timing of the crime, mainly by suggesting it took place later when Simpson was on his way to Chicago.

Earlier, Simpson’s lawyers repeatedly questioned whether co-workers of Ronald Goldman, who also was murdered last June 12, were sure about when he had left his job that night.

Moreover, the lawyers questioned the accuracy of a clock at the Mezzaluna restaurant, where Goldman was a waiter.

The lawyers were able to get two co-workers to concede that while they are certain Goldman left about 9:50 p.m., they had not seen him actually walk out the door. But a third testified she had watched him go.

Goldman died with Nicole Simpson outside her condo, where he had gone to drop off a pair of glasses her mother had lost when she had gone to Mezzaluna earlier that evening.

Even as they have sought to cast doubt about when Goldman left work, Simpson’s defenders have argued Goldman could not have gotten to the murder scene by 10:15 p.m. because he went home to change clothes first.

That assertion lost some steam Tuesday, though, when co-workers said Goldman’s apartment was only a few minutes’ walk from the restaurant and Nicole Simpson’s condominium was just a couple of blocks farther.

In other developments Tuesday:

After an objection from Cochran, Judge Lance Ito told Prosecutor Marcia Clark to stop wearing a small lapel pin of an angel. Clark said the pin, similar in design to an earring worn by Nicole Simpson’s sister when she testified, was meant to show “sympathy” with the victims.

Ito replaced a juror because she had been treated for arthritis by the same doctor who plans to testify about Simpson’s arthritis later in the trial.

Tags: trial

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