Mistrial denied; Simpson trial resumes

Oct. 22, 2001 at 1:00 PM
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MIAMI, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Miami Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy denied O.J. Simpson's motion for a mistrial Monday and testimony was resumed after the judge reprimanded the jury for discussing the case among themselves.

Simpson faces charges of felony auto burglary and misdemeanor battery for allegedly reaching inside the car of another motorist, grabbing his glasses and scratching his face. The maximum penalty is 16 years in prison.

The eight-member jury, two of whom are alternates, was seen discussing the case with one another and when the judge questioned them, they admitted it. Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, asked for a mistrial Friday and Murphy held a brief hearing Monday morning.

"I'm convinced that from the record there was no prejudice to the defendant and I deny the mistrial," Murphy ruled.

The next witness was the wife of Jeffrey Pattinson, who testified last week that Simpson grabbed his glasses and scratched him.

She described what it was like when her husband came home.

"He was in shock. He just couldn't believe anything like that could have happened," she said. "H had a scratch on his forehead -- on the side of his forehead."

The prosecution rested before lunch and the defense began its case in the afternoon.

Prosecutors said Simpson ran a stop sign while he was taking his children home last December, and when Pattinson honked his horn and flicked his lights, Simpson pulled him over and confronted him.

Galanter accused both police and Pattinson of being out to get Simpson.

He said the police immediately focused in on Simpson rather than both of them. He said Pattinson was angry when Simpson moved into the neighborhood and was trying to make it unpleasant for him so he would move.

Galanter said Simpson was merely trying to protect his children.

Simpson was acquitted of the June 1994 slayings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in a trial in Los Angeles that was televised nationally. A civil trial was held later and held Simpson liable for the two slayings. He was ordered to pay their families $33 million in damages.

Simpson moved to Miami-Dade County in September 2000.

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