November 14, 1996 in Nation/World

Jurors Told Simpson Blood At Scene Genetic Expert Says Blood, Fibers Place Simpson At Murder Scene

Associated Press
 

Plaintiffs presented the heart of their physical evidence against O.J. Simpson on Wednesday as witnesses placed blood and fiber possibly matching Simpson and his Bronco near the two slashed bodies.

A DNA lab expert gave jurors in the wrongful death trial a wealth of genetic evidence, including test results showing an extremely high likelihood that Simpson’s blood dripped alongside bloody shoeprints at the crime scene.

The chances are at least 1-in-170-million that anybody else’s DNA besides Simpson’s could be contained in a blood drop found near the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, testified Robin Cotton, director of Cellmark Diagnostics in Maryland.

Less sophisticated testing on four other blood drops gave a better chance that the blood could have belonged to someone else besides Simpson, but the calculations were still overwhelmingly against him.

Cotton’s testimony mirrored that of the first trial, in which Simpson was acquitted on criminal charges, although this time it came immediately after testimony about hair and fiber evidence, providing a one-two punch that was lacking the first time around.

Before Cotton took the stand, an FBI agent said nylon carpet fibers used in Ford vehicles were found on items near the bodies and could have come from the carpet of Simpson’s 1994 Ford Bronco.

But Douglas Deedrick’s testimony into the rarity of the fibers - testimony zapped from Simpson’s criminal trial as prosecution punishment - also was barred from the civil trial.

An impatient Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki stymied the plaintiffs’ plan to narrow down those fibers from a pool of 72,000 possible Ford vehicles. Defense lawyers said such evidence was irrelevant.

In the end, Deedrick, a scientific expert in trace evidence, testified that fibers matching samples taken from the Bronco were found inside a knit cap at the scene and on a glove found at Simpson’s estate.

Deedrick offered other scientific connections that seemed to fascinate jurors, who scribbled furiously as he presented his charts. Deedrick said a hair fragment that could have been Simpson’s and cashmere strands that could have come from the lining of two gloves were found on Goldman’s shirt. Others were found inside a knit cap near the bodies.

The infamous glove, which former Detective Mark Fuhrman says he found, contained a melange of incriminating evidence, Deedrick testified.

That glove yielded a hair from Ms. Simpson, hairs from Goldman, a hair from a black person, bloody fibers from Goldman’s shirt, the carpet fiber and a mysterious blue-black cotton strand.

Other blue-black strands were found on Goldman’s shirt and on socks retrieved from Simpson’s bedroom.

Plaintiffs, like prosecutors before them, suggest those fibers came from now-missing clothing worn by Simpson while slashing the victims to death.

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


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