November 7, 1996 in Nation/World

Tape Of Simpson Trying On Glove Shown At Civil Trial

Associated Press

Plaintiffs struggled Wednesday to tie O.J. Simpson to the pair of bloody gloves, only to be upstaged by a video of Simpson struggling to squeeze into the gloves at his criminal trial.

O.J. Simpson’s lawyers were able to revive the videotape after a plaintiff’s glove expert declared that they fit the former NBC commentator.

The glove demonstration, which attorney Johnnie Cochran used to great advantage in the criminal trial, telling jurors “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” was introduced Wednesday over plaintiffs’ objections.

Unlike the criminal jury, however, these jurors didn’t hear Simpson saying, “They’re too small.” Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki agreed with plaintiffs to turn off the sound.

Later, the plaintiffs presented their “bombshell” evidence - a picture of Simpson wearing shoes said to be similar to those that left bloody footprints at the crime scene. But no witness appeared in person and some jurors nodded off during the tedious video and transcript testimony.

The legal team trying to hold Simpson responsible for the wrongful deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman put glove expert Richard Rubin on the stand in part to explain why gloves found at the killing scene and at Simpson’s estate might not have appeared to fit very well months later.

Rubin noted that Simpson was wearing latex gloves underneath to preserve evidence during the first trial, and said the leather gloves may have shrunk over time. He also suggested that the manufacturers might have cut them too short. All the same, he said, they fit on Simpson’s hands.

“They fit with a poor quality of fit. But they fit,” Rubin told plaintiff’s attorney John Q. Kelly Wednesday.

Rubin also linked photographs of a glove-wearing Simpson to the bloody pair collected by police investigating the June 12, 1994, slayings.

Defense attorney Robert Baker, calling up one of those photos on a giant TV screen, asked Rubin: “The glove appears tight, doesn’t it?”

“In the knuckle area, yes,” Rubin said.

Possible contamination of evidence on the gloves has long since ceased to be an issue, so Rubin was able to try them on Wednesday without wearing latex underneath. All the same, his handling of the gloves brought an objection from Baker, who said Rubin appeared to be stretching them.

“Don’t pull the gloves,” the judge told him.

Simpson contends that the gloves - one found beside the bodies at the crime scene and the second discovered on the grounds of Simpson’s estate - were planted to frame him for murder.

Jurors also were shown a videotaped deposition from Harry Scull, a Buffalo, N.Y., photographer who in March sold a picture of Simpson purportedly wearing Bruno Magli shoes to the National Enquirer.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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