In the first testimony disputing the state’s theory of the time of death, a young man and woman said they walked past Nicole Brown Simpson’s condominium about 15 minutes after prosecutors say she and Ronald Goldman were murdered and heard and saw nothing amiss.
While neighbors of Nicole Simpson have testified that they heard her dog barking about 10:15 p.m. on June 12, 1994, Danny Mandel and Ellen Aaronson said they heard no dog and saw nothing unusual as they walked past the condominium back to Aaronson’s apartment about 10:30 p.m. The couple, on a blind date, had just had dinner at Mezzaluna, the same restaurant where Nicole Simpson had her last meal and where Goldman worked.
Their testimony, and that of witnesses who followed, would narrow the time in which O.J. Simpson could have committed the murders with which he is charged and arrived at his house about two miles away at 10:55 p.m., when he was seen by a limousine driver.
Mandel and Aaronson both said they arrived at her apartment at about 10:35 p.m. and that based on Mandel’s credit card receipt, they verified they left the restaurant at 9:55 p.m.
Prosecutor Marcia Clark repeatedly tried to shake their testimony on the time they left the restaurant and the route the couple took back to her apartment.
She also suggested that Aaronson and Mandel may have tailored a time frame that favored the defense and that Aaronson may not have noticed the corpses. Steven Schwab, a neighbor who discovered the bloody-pawed Akita across the street from the condo, did not see the bodies.
And the neighbors who were later led to the murder scene by the dog did not find the bodies until they looked inside the property’s gate.
Aaronson said she did not see anyone walking a dog and did not hear any dogs barking. Clark, in an effort to discredit upcoming defense witnesses, also asked if she saw an angry-looking Latino man outside the condominium or women standing on a porch.
“I don’t recall seeing anyone walking on that side of the street at all,” Aaronson said.
At a lighter moment, there was an outburst of laughter in the courtroom when Aaronson, laughing herself, testified that her first meeting with Johnnie Cochran was at a social occasion. The audience roared as Cochran raised his hand to clarify the circumstances of the meeting and swear that he was with his wife.