November 26, 1996 in Nation/World

Simpson Can’t Explain Evidence No Answers To Blood, Finger Cut; Sticks To Story Under Scrutiny

Philadelphia Inquirer

Under relentless challenges to his alibi, O.J. Simpson on Monday could not explain how the blood of his exwife and Ronald Goldman turned up in his Ford Bronco after they were murdered, nor how he cut his hand so deeply that his left middle finger remains scarred today.

On his second day of testifying in a wrongful-death civil suit, Simpson was hammered with questions delivered incredulously and sarcastically, from pointed queries about his activities the night of the June 12, 1994, murders to his frantic slow-speed chase five days later.

The jury even heard about a privately administered lie detector test that plaintiffs say he flunked two days after the murders, results that plaintiff’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli characterized as an indication of “extreme deception.” But Simpson insisted, “As far as I know, I didn’t take a polygraph test.”

Though his demeanor was calm, Simpson kept tripping over substance. On virtually every point, he said he could not explain damaging physical evidence or contradictions in his police statements and testimony. But on one point he was clear and firm: He repeatedly professed he did not murder Nicole Brown Simpson or her friend, Ron Goldman.

Reported to be so broke that he has mortgaged his mansion to pay his legal bills, Simpson is being sued by the victims’ families. He never testified during last year’s criminal trial, in which he was acquitted, so this is the first time he has had to account for his alibi in front of jurors who will judge him.

And sources confirmed that one of those jurors is being dismissed today for alleged misconduct. The young white woman, a jewelry saleswoman, was the subject of undisclosed complaints from fellow panelists.

The whole day was extremely theatrical and confrontational, as Petrocelli grilled Simpson so aggressively that attorney and witness sometimes were only inches from each other and Petrocelli wagged his finger at Simpson. Simpson never exhibited anger, and he looked frequently at jurors who often bent their heads as they furiously scribbled notes.

Simpson insisted he was in the shower when limousine driver Allan Park arrived, about the time the two victims were slain. At the beginning of a critical 80-minute period when Simpson has no alibi witnesses to confirm his whereabouts, he testified that he was in his front yard chipping golf balls and walking his dog just before departing for a promotional golf tournament in Chicago.

Simpson had no recollection for how he sustained cuts to his hand and seven bruises around his arms and shoulders.

He could not explain how the blood of his ex-wife and Goldman turned up on his Bronco’s carpet, nor how his own blood was found on the car’s light switch, console and driver door handle. Nor could Simpson explain drops of his own blood in his driveway.

In contrast, Petrocelli elicited from Simpson a lengthy detailed description of the golf clubs and balls he says he used chipping around his yard the night of the murders. It was so explicit, down to the sand wedge that he couldn’t find, that Petrocelli accused Simpson of having made up the story and refined his alibi during practice sessions with his attorneys.

Petrocelli also asked Simpson about photographs showing him wearing shoes that appeared to be a rare brand of Bruno Maglis. Bloody footprints from Bruno Maglis in size 12, Simpson’s size, were found at the murder scene.

Simpson, who has denied ever owning such an “ugly-assed” pair, said the photograph had been doctored.

“My opinion is that it is a fraud,” he said.


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