O.J.'s family counters image of a killer

  Sally Ann Stewart; Jonathan T. Lovitt


  USA Today


  Page 03A

  (Copyright 1995)


  LOS ANGELES - Three women from O.J. Simpson's family stepped onto the

  witness stand Monday to counter his image as the killer of Nicole Brown

  Simpson and Ronald Goldman.


  Simpson's daughter Arnelle, 26, was the first witness Simpson's lawyers

  presented for their side of the case. She was quickly followed by his sister

  Carmelita Durio and his mother, Eunice Simpson.


  Outside court, the three women said it was just a coincidence that they wore

  yellow clothing. But it was no coincidence that they had the same purpose in



  If the opening is any indication, experts say the defense apparently plans to

  continue attacking the prosecution's case on several fronts:


  -- Demeanor. Simpson's lawyers questioned all three women extensively about

  Simpson's actions after police told him his ex-wife and her friend were brutally

  slashed to death.


  During the prosecution phase of the trial, police said Simpson didn't ask any

  questions about how, when or where his wife died.


  But Eunice Simpson said her son was "shocked." And Arnelle Simpson said he

  was "distraught."


  "Truthfully, what did we expect her to say: `My father is a cold-blooded killer' ?"

  said Southwestern University law professor Robert Pugsley.


  -- Alibi. Arnelle Simpson said her father frequently practiced golf at his house,

  backing one story on what he was doing at the time prosecutors say the killings



  She also said she never saw her father wearing a blue or black cotton sweatsuit.

  Fibers from such a garment were found at the murder scene.


  -- Police errors. Arnelle Simpson testified she told police she could contact her

  father. Police testified she didn't know her father was away.


  She said she didn't notice blood on the driveway or in the entryway of the

  mansion. Police testified they saw the blood and decided they had to further



  "Where there's a minor discrepancy," Pugsley said, "it gives the jury the basis for

  reasonable doubt as to the accuracy of the police account."


  The defense's speedy presentation of five witnesses in one day could please the

  jury, which has been locked away since Jan. 11.


  "And things should be kept simple," said criminal lawyer Donald Wager. "The

  longer a witness goes, the more confusing it becomes for jurors."

  PHOTOS,b/w,Rick Meyer(2)