Simpson trial nears end

Oct. 23, 2001 at 6:17 PM
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MIAMI, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- O.J. Simpson testified under cross examination Tuesday he was not the aggressor in an alleged road-rage incident that occurred while he was taking his two children home from school last December, and said the other motorist in the dispute was a liar.

Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, rested his case after the former football star and broadcaster testified. Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy set closing arguments for Wednesday.

The jury of six men and two women is expected to begin deliberations Wednesday afternoon. Two of the jurors are alternates and will be released when deliberations start.

Simpson faces charges of felony auto burglary and misdemeanor battery for allegedly reaching inside the car driven by Jeffrey Pattinson, 55, grabbing his glasses and scratching his face. The maximum penalty is 16 years in prison.

Simpson said under questioning by prosecutor Abbe Rifkin he did not reach into the car to grab Pattinson's glasses during the traffic dispute and that Pattinson was the aggressor.

"I was upset with myself because I stopped. It was for no reason. It was just so that someone could vent at me," he said.

He said he told police the man was the aggressor and that he was lying.

"I said this guy was lying. I wasn't in his car. Ask my kids. I was outside his car and he didn't have his glasses on," Simpson said.

He said his thumb print was on Pattinson's glasses because when Pattinson gestured at him with the glasses in his hand, he brushed them with his thumb as he pushed them away.

Murphy would not allow questioning by Rifkin on whether he had ever been aggressive before or had been aggressive in a traffic situation.

Simpson was acquitted of the June 1994 slayings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in a criminal trial in Los Angeles. 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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