Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

O.J. Defense Witness Cites Chemical Found in Sample of Blood Prosecution Questions Doctor's Credentials

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

O.J. Defense Witness Cites Chemical Found in Sample of Blood Prosecution Questions Doctor's Credentials

Article excerpt

O.J. Simpson's defense team continued Monday to try to show that blood evidence was planted by detectives in an effort to frame the football hero.

Dr. Frederick Rieders, a toxicologist, testified that a chemical known as EDTA, a blood preservative used by the Los Angeles Police forensic laboratory in the Simpson case, was found in what the prosecution claims was Nicole Brown Simpson's blood on O.J. Simpson's socks the day after the murders.

Rieders said EDTA also was found in bloodstains on the back gate to Nicole Simpson's Brentwood condominium.

Simpson was charged in the killings of ex-wife Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman on June 12, 1994.

The defense contends that the traces of the preservative m show that the blood was planted as part of conspiracy.

Rieders did not test the actual evidence but analyzed the reports of FBI tests. Although Rieders faulted the FBI methods, he said the tests clearly point to the telltale chemical, EDTA, in the socks and gate blood.

Defense lawyers contend that the socks were smeared with Nicole Simpson's autopsy blood sample after the slayings and the gate blood came from a sample Simpson provided the day after the killings.

Under cross-examination by lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, Rieders conceded that EDTA also was used as a food preservative in pickles, mayonnaise salad dressing and sandwich spread.

It also was used as a color preservative in several vegetables, he said.

But he said it was absurd to suppose a living person could carry much of the chemical in his blood because it would act as an anti-coagulant and would cause hemorrhaging.

Anticipating a prosecution rebuttal, defense attorney Robert Blasier asked if the EDTA in the socks could have come from laundry detergent.

Rieders said the FBI had done a "negative control" test on portions of the sock that were not bloody, and those sections contained no sign of EDTA.

"In my opinion, the EDTA came from the blood, not the sock," Rieders said.

When asked whether some chemical compound other than EDTA could produce the results he saw, Rieders said, "I do not know of any such substance, and I've not been able to find one." Technical Testimony

Rieders often used charts and graphs to supplement his testimony. …

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