Nation/World

Police Chemist Admits Lab Mistakes Simpson Defense Keeps Focus On Evidence Collection, Storage

Ronald Goldman’s bloody shirt grew a moldy, “offensive odor” because it was improperly stored, a police chemist testified Wednesday as O.J. Simpson’s defense escalated its attack on sloppy evidence handling.

Taking a detour around blood test results linking Simpson to the murder of his ex-wife and Goldman, defense attorney Robert Blasier suggested security was lax at the laboratory where the blood of Simpson and the victims was stored, and he implied that sloppy technicians may have altered evidence.

The attorney also showed jurors slides of a test tube of Nicole Brown Simpson’s blood, with crusted blood that had leaked or spilled on the outside.

Gregory Matheson, assistant director of the crime lab, acknowledged there were some problems with the way his criminalists collected evidence, a point the defense hammered away at. He said criminalist Andrea Mazzola erred when she used a single swab to collect three blood stains from the pedals in Simpson’s Bronco.

“That’s not how I would do it,” Matheson said.

“That’s unacceptable?” Blasier asked.

“That’s right,” Matheson said. “I try to limit the use of a swab to one piece of evidence.”

He also agreed with the defense that it was a mistake for detectives to bring out a blanket from Nicole Simpson’s home and throw it over her body because it could have contaminated the crime scene with trace evidence.



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