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OJ lawyers suggest cop planted glove

By
TERRI VERMEULEN

LOS ANGELES, March 13 -- O.J. Simpson's legal team began grilling a controversial police detective Monday, suggesting he may have planted a glove at Simpson's estate to implicate the football legend in the killings of his ex-wife and one of her friends. Simpson attorney F. Lee Bailey suggested that detective Mark Fuhrman may have found two gloves at the murder scene and taken one glove to Simpson's estate, where he claims he later found it. 'How about two gloves, detective?' Bailey asked, referring to what Fuhrman saw at the scene where Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, were slain. 'Excuse me,' Fuhrman responded, asking Bailey to repeat his question. 'No, I saw one glove.' Simpson's legal team has spent months attacking Fuhrman, accusing him of being a racist hater of interracial couples who may have planted the glove to implicate Simpson because the former football hero is black and his former wife was white. Simpson, 47, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the June 12, 1994 stabbing and slashing deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, 35, and her friend, Goldman, 25, outside her Brentwood condominium. If convicted, the National Football League Hall-of-Famer could spend the rest of his life in prison. Bailey suggested Monday that Fuhrman may have also planted evidence because his evaluations mentioned he had always wanted to make 'the big arrest' and may have decided 'to do something' because he was disappointed to learn that he was removed from the high-profile case in favor of senior murder investigators 'from downtown.'

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Fuhrman, a key witness for both sides, had testified earlier Monday that he found a right-handed leather glove near an air conditioning unit at Simpson's Brentwood mansion that apparently matched one found at the murder scene. Bailey asked Fuhrman if he knew there was blood in the Ford Bronco parked outside Simpson's estate while he was initially at the scene. Fuhrman, who had earlier testified he saw apparent blood spots on the outside of the Bronco, said he did not know about the blood spots inside the vehicle. 'Did you wipe a glove in the Bronco, detective Fuhrman?' Bailey asked the detective. 'No,' Fuhrman responded with a smile. 'You did not?' Bailey countered. 'No,' Fuhrman said. Prosecutors said during their opening arguments that DNA tests show blood drops found in the Bronco were from Simpson, his former wife and Goldman, while the glove also contained a mixture of blood from the three. Prosecutor Marcia Clark went point-by-point last week through Fuhrman's actions at the crime scene and asked him to describe who accompanied him, trying to show that Fuhrman had no opportunity to remove any evidence. But Fuhrman acknowledged Monday under cross-examination that he believed he was left alone once near the victims' bodies when a lieutenant asked him to look at a wound on Goldman's body. Fuhrman said he spent '5 seconds' looking at the laceration, and that the closest officer was more than 20 feet away. In another attack on Fuhrman, Bailey indicated that two people, including a Marine sergeant whom Fuhrman acknowledged meeting, will back up defense witness Kathleen Bell's account that she met the detective. Fuhrman reiterated that he had never met Bell, who claims he made racist statements about interracial couples and indicated he was willing to fabricate evidence. Bell has contended she met Fuhrman at a Marine recruiting center in 1985 or 1986 and that Fuhrman told her he would make up a reason to pull over any vehicle occupied by a 'nigger' and a white woman, and that he would 'like nothing more than to see all 'niggers' gathered together and killed.' 'I do not recall ever meeting this woman in a Marine recruiting station or anywhere else,' said Fuhrman, a former Marine machine gunner and 19-year veteran of the LAPD. 'I do not recognize this woman as anyone I had ever met.' Last week, Fuhrman denied under direct examination by prosecutor Clark that he had ever met Bell or made such a statement to her. Outside the jury's presence, Simpson's legal team lost their bid to show the jury copies of a psychiatrist's report that indicates Fuhrman made racist statements about blacks and Mexicans when he sought worker's compensation in 1981. Bailey told the judge he believed Fuhrman's attitudes about racism and interracial couples were 'fair game for questioning in as much as he is very definitively a suspect for having carried that glove from (the murder scene at) Bundy, where he found it, to Rockingham (Simpson's estate), where he deposited it.' Superior Court Judge Lance Ito reaffirmed his earlier ruling that the report was too remote in time. Clark maintained the defense team would never be able to prove their allegations that Fuhrman planted the glove because 'there will never be any such evidence because it's an impossibility.' Another officer had earlier testified that more than a dozen officers were there before Fuhrman, and that key evidence, including the left-handed glove, had already been found before Fuhrman arrived. Under questioning by Clark, Fuhrman said he learned Saturday that the large plastic bag he saw in the back of the Bronco the day after the killings was for a spare tire. A Ford dealer said the bag holds the spare tire during shipment. In dramatic moments before the court session ended last Friday, Fuhrman unwrapped packages containing the plastic bag, a dirty shovel and towel seized from the Bronco, and a piece of broken wood found near the vehicle. Prosecutors did not explain whether the items were linked to the killings, and left jurors to ponder the issue over the weekend. In another development, Simpson's defense team filed a motion Monday asking the judge to reconsider his decision to impose $950 fines against defense lawyers Johnnie Cochran Jr. and Carl Douglas for failing to quickly turn over a tape-recorded interview with key witness Rosa Lopez as required by law. Simpson's attorneys also asked to reconsider his decision to tell jurors the defense team violated the law and caused a four-day delay in the trial if they opt to use the videotaped testimony of Lopez. Fuhrman's attorney, Robert Tourtelot, responded Monday to reports that Fuhrman had asked Vanity, a black backup singer for Prince, for a date. He said Fuhrman, while still a patrolman several years ago, pulled the young woman over in her Corvette. While giving her a warning ticket and exchanging phone numbers, 'he asked her to go to Las Vegas that night...she said she was busy working with Prince.' Tourtelot said Vanity, who has since reverted to her real name of Denise Mathews and is a born-again Christian minister in Sunnyvale, Calif., recalled the incident and flirting with the police officer. 'It's inconsistent with statements that he harbors hate for African- Americans, and here he is trying to date one,' Tourtelot said.

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