Nation/World

Ito Will Allow Jurors To See Photographs Of Slashing Deaths

Photos of two slashed murder victims and the types of knives that could have killed them will be in the hands of O.J. Simpson’s jurors when they deliberate murder charges, the judge ruled Friday.

Judge Lance Ito also admitted into evidence a picture of a butcher knife on Nicole Brown Simpson’s kitchen counter, although it has not been linked to any violence. Prosecutor Marcia Clark floated a new theory that perhaps she tried to arm herself with the knife when she heard her killer approaching.

In a hearing setting the stage for the defense to open its case Monday, attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. reluctantly divulged some details of his first witnesses, including Simpson’s 9-year-old daughter, Sydney.

Cochran said he hoped to avoid calling Sydney in person and asked permission for an interview; Clark said she would try to arrange it.

Sydney and brother Justin were asleep inside when Ms. Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were killed outside her condominium.

Cochran also listed witnesses whose accounts of Simpson’s conduct before the killings would show a busy celebrity living a normal life, not an obsessed man bent on murder.

He said an interior decorator would tell of a meeting with Simpson to plan the redecoration of his bedroom, and Simpson’s golfing friends would talk of their outings. A woman who attended a $25,000-a-plate benefit banquet the night before the killings would tell of sitting near Simpson and his then-girlfriend, Paula Barbieri.

Prosecutor Christopher Darden said he would object to many of the witnesses as irrelevant, and he predicted arguments would delay the start of defense testimony Monday.



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