O.J. Simpson Judge Upholds Searches Police Had `Probable Cause,' He Rules

Article excerpt

Superior Court Judge Lance Ito ruled Wednesday that police had probable cause to search O.J. Simpson's house and grounds.

He upheld the probable cause, even though the warrants issued contained a number of inaccuracies, he said, and officers showed reckless disregard for the truth.

Police requested the warrant on June 13, one day after Simpson's former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, were slain outside her home. Ito said Wednesday that the police had not been truthful when they told a judge that they had seen "human blood" on a car door and "what appears to be human blood" on the driveway leading up to O.J. Simpson's front door.

Also, Ito said, the detectives misled the magistrate who issued the search warrant by insinuating that Simpson had fled the crime scene, when in fact his trip to Chicago had been booked at least two months in advance.

Nonetheless, he said, police had probable cause for that search and one two weeks later, because once the errors and omissions on the original request were corrected, there still was sufficient reason for police to determine that a search was necessary.

Ito said the apparent blood drops on the driveway coupled with the blood seen previously on the Bronco "would cause me to have added concern, coupled with the discovery of a leather glove which is the apparent mate to the glove found at the scene." For that reason it would constitute probable cause, he ruled.

The judge still must decide whether evidence seized in those searches is admissible. Most important will be the bloody glove Detective Mark Fuhrman found after he scaled a wall at the estate. The defense has accused Fuhrman of being a racist and of being capable of planting the glove, which Fuhrman has denied.

In its objection to the second search warrant, obtained June 28, the defense contends that police went on a "grazing" expedition that far exceeded the scope of the warrant. …