The judge in the O.J. Simpson trial said Thursday that arguments over whether to admit evidence of domestic violence in Simpson’s household could substantially delay opening statements.
Superior Court Judge Lance Ito ordered jurors to return to court Monday for further instructions and said opening arguments could begin as early as Jan. 18.
Beginning Wednesday, jurors will be sequestered to shield them from media accounts of the trial, and Ito will begin hearing arguments from lawyers over whether to admit evidence that Simpson beat his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson.
Ito said he could see “two dozen discrete incidents or issues” relating to violence in the Simpson marriage which must be discussed before he rules on how much of it is admissible evidence.
“We could be here for quite awhile,” Ito said.
Simpson pleaded no contest to spousal battery in 1989. Last year, police released 911 tapes of Nicole Simpson frantically calling for help as Simpson broke into her house in fall 1993.