February 24, 1996 in Nation/World

Simpson Lawyers Plan To Question Ex-Cop In Idaho Attorneys In Civil Trial Finally Get A Subpoena In Fuhrman’s Hands

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Unpublished correction: The photo caption should have said Mark Fuhrman.

O.J. Simpson’s attorneys, and possibly Simpson himself, will arrive here next month to question retired Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman.

Fuhrman, who now lives in Bonner County, was subpoenaed a week ago by Simpson’s legal team.

They want to question the ex-cop before Simpson’s civil trial over the deaths of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

First District Court Judge James Michaud arranged the details of Fuhrman’s deposition Friday during a conference call with about seven attorneys.

After much wrangling, including accusations Fuhrman tried to avoid being subpoenaed, Michaud set a deposition date for Sunday, March 10.

The meeting will be in a secret location within a 20-minute drive of the Bonner County Courthouse. It will be videotaped and the tape turned over to a California judge presiding over the wrongful death lawsuit.

Simpson’s attorneys wanted copies of the tape and the option of making it public. That request was denied.

Fuhrman was represented Friday by local bankruptcy attorney Ford Elsaesser, who was charged with selecting the secret location.

He said he wanted a private place for Fuhrman’s safety and to “avoid a media circus.”

The judge agreed.

“Mr. Fuhrman has some right to spare himself some publicity and embarrassment,” Michaud said, noting Fuhrman’s tried to avoid the media since he moved here.

However, if any legal questions arise during Fuhrman’s deposition, Michaud said he may convene a court hearing, which could be open to the public.

“I am going to have the court available if necessary,” Michaud said. “I want to get this done in one trip to Idaho.”

Simpson attorney, Robert Baker, expects a court hearing, especially if Fuhrman asserts his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refuses to answer questions. If that happens, Baker said, he will ask the judge to intervene.

During the conference call, attorneys also argued about who should be allowed into the deposition. Elsaesser wanted the judge to allow only attorneys and ban Simpson or the Goldman and Brown families from attending.

Baker fought that request and won.

Fuhrman was supposed to give his deposition Monday and meet with Simpson’s attorneys at a downtown motel. The judge postponed that meeting, because Fuhrman’s criminal attorney, Darryl Mounger, was not available.

Baker pushed for the original deposition date because attorney F. Lee Bailey was slated to attend.

“F. Lee Bailey is ready to be in Idaho Monday, not on March 10,” Baker said. “Mr. Fuhrman has known about the deposition for quite some time. We know he was avoiding the service of the summons.”

Fuhrman’s wife declined to accept a subpoena for her husband in early February. Fuhrman’s attorney also declined to accept the subpoena on Feb. 7, Baker said.

Fuhrman was not hiding and he could have been served while at work, Elsaesser said. Fuhrman was working as an electrician’s helper, but Elsaesser did not specify where he is employed full-time.

Fuhrman bought a home on the west end of town last summer. He moved out about three weeks ago to a home in the county to avoid regular visits by the media.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

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