O.J. trial resumes; Ito `on a mission'
Paul Leavitt; Sally Ann Stewart; Jonathan T. Lovitt ; Tony Mauro
Testimony resumed in the O.J. Simpson murder trial Tuesday with Judge Lance
Ito displaying a new, no-nonsense attitude after recent private meetings with
jurors, whose complaints included the pace of the trial.
Ito, who has been criticized for letting the lawyers argue too much, moved
several times to speed the proceedings along.
"He's finally acting like a judge, a man with a mission to finish this case," said
former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson.
Defense lawyers, cross-examining police scientist Andrea Mazzola, pressed their
attack on the way blood evidence was collected. Mazzola admitted she used one
swab to collect three blood stains from Simpson's Bronco, although that's not the
way she was trained to do it. -- Sally Ann Stewart and Jonathan T. Lovitt
GULF WAR SICKNESS: The CIA is reviewing Persian Gulf war intelligence
data to resolve whether troops were exposed to chemical agents. "Nothing has
yet surfaced that leads the CIA to disagree with the Department of Defense
conclusion that chemical weapons were not used," spokesman Mark Mansfield
said. More than 34,000 veterans and 10,000 active-duty troops blame illnesses on
NAVY SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Three instructors at the San Diego Navy
Training Center were convicted of various charges after a seven-month probe of
sexual harassment and fraternization with recruits. One was court-martialed, and
two got non-judicial punishments. All were reprimanded and docked pay; one
also was demoted a rank. Charges were dismissed against a fourth for lack of
evidence. In November, seven others got non-judicial punishments. The Navy
said initial accusations that male instructors demanded sex for grades from 16
female students were unfounded.
POSSIBLE BOMB PLOT: Brothers Sean Patrick and Brian Scott Bottoms of
Madison, Tenn., were arrested Monday on charges of possessing explosive
components. Police said the arrests followed a tip that the men may have been
plotting to kidnap John Seigenthaler, former publisher of The Tennesseean and
ex- USA TODAY editorial page editor, and Nashville talk show host Les
Jamison. Among items found at the brothers' home: three pipe bombs, and
materials to make more.
-- A New Mexico bomb squad exploded a grenade found in a vending box
outside the Albuquerque Journal. The device had no pin in it; it wasn't known if
it would explode.
ALSO TUESDAY . . .
-- PRESIDENT'S WIDOW FAINTS: Lady Bird Johnson was released from an
Austin, Texas, hospital after fainting at a dinner party at the Lyndon Baines
Johnson presidential library Monday. Johnson, 82, had a stroke in 1993. Long
periods of intense activity have caused fainting spells, says her former press
secretary and friend Liz Carpenter.
-- SICK BUILDING: Reliance Insurance Co. must pay Polk County, Fla., $25.8
million because mold in a new courthouse sickened hundreds of workers, a jury
in St. Petersburg decided. The county had insurance for faulty workmanship in
the 10-story, $32 million building in Barstow. It closed in 1992. Repair cost:
nearly $40 million.
High court hears parade arguments
Supreme Court justices offered little support to a homosexual group that claims a
constitutional right to march in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade. The South
Boston Allied War Veterans Council says it alone decides who marches. At
issue: the right to associate privately with whomever one chooses, and equal
treatment under the law.
"For a court to tell a private entity how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day is
antithetical to the First Amendment," said Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Chester Darling, lawyer for the Veterans Council, said parade sponsors have the
exclusive right to shape its content: "My clients exclude messages, not people."
John Ward, lawyer for the Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of
Boston, said the parade is an "open recreational event" and excluding
homosexuals is illegal. -- Tony Mauro
Contributing: Steve Timko.