Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Simpson's Testimony Is over for Now His Lawyer Saves Questions for Later

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Simpson's Testimony Is over for Now His Lawyer Saves Questions for Later

Article excerpt

After three days of scathing interrogation, O.J. Simpson stepped down from the witness stand at his civil trial Tuesday without a single question from his own attorney.

In a surprise move, Simpson's lead attorney, Robert Baker, who had been expected to immediately begin his effort to "rehabilitate" his client in front of the jury, told Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki: "I'm sorry, your honor, I changed my mind."

But Baker promised to bring the former football star back to testify when the defense begins presenting its case in the wrongful-death lawsuit, possibly as early as next month. With that, the trial was recessed for a long Thanksgiving holiday break. Testimony will resume Tuesday when the plaintiffs will put on more witnesses to support their claims that Simpson murdered his ex-wife and her friend. Simpson's testimony marked the dramatic high point of the trial, in which he is fighting civil charges brought by the families of murder victims Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. He was acquitted of double-murder charges in a criminal trial in October 1995. Taking the witness stand in open court for the first time since the 1994 killings, Simpson spent three days being grilled relentlessly about inconsistencies in his story. Simpson repeatedly maintained his innocence as he fended off harsh accusations, but he never lost his cool. He conceded, however, he was at a loss to explain how he cut his hand, how blood matching his own ended up at the murder scene and how blood matching the victims ended up in his Ford Bronco and at his Brentwood estate. And in his first round of testimony, Simpson made no mention of the theory that is expected to form the centerpiece of Simpson's defense - that he was framed by a police conspiracy orchestrated by a racist detective. Baker had been expected to bring that out under friendly cross-examination Tuesday. Instead, he told the judge: "We'll do our whole questioning of him when we put on our case." Gerry Spence, a famed defense attorney from Wyoming said: "I think it's a bad idea. …

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