SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 4 -- The courtroom erupted into shouts as the jury in the O.J. Simpson wrongful death trial answered 'yes' to the first question put to them: 'Do you find by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant Simpson willfully and wrongfully caused the death of Ron Goldman.' When the answer was read, Goldman's father, Fred, raised his arms; Simpson and even Goldman's attorney appeared stunned.
Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki warned the spectators against further outbursts and the reading of the unanimous verdict proceeded with the jury answering 'yes' to all eight of the questions, including did Simpson batter Nicole Brown Simpson. Simpson looked at the jury, then looked away. Ron Goldman's sister, Kim, put her face in her hands as a civil court jury did what a criminal court jury did not do in October 1995: announce that O.J. Simpson killed her brother. Nicole's family was in tears and her sister, Denise, clenched her fist and said, 'yes.' Simpson walked out a back door while most everyone else in the courtroom hugged. He got in his black Chevvy Blazer with his attorney Robert Baker and headed home to Brentwood. Remarkably, he stopped at a Baskin-Robbins and someone got out of the car and went in to buy ice cream. With a gag order still in place until punitive damages are decided, Fred Goldman told reporters, 'Today is two-and-a-half years and we finally have justice for Ron and Nicole' and thanked the attorneys. ---
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