Simpson faces questions on alibi, murders

  Jonathan T. Lovitt


  USA Today


  Page 01A

  (Copyright 1996)


  SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- The stakes soar this morning for O.J. Simpson.


  Friday, the first day of his testimony at the civil suit against him, Simpson was

  bombarded with questions covering his 17-year relationship with his ex-wife,

  Nicole Brown.


  Today, he faces grilling about her murder and that of her friend, Ron Goldman.


  Daniel Petrocelli, lead lawyer for the Goldman family, will begin by testing

  Simpson on every detail of the 78-minute period between 9:37 p.m. and 10:55

  p.m. the night of June 12, 1994, when no one can verify Simpson's whereabouts.


  In his pre-trial deposition, Simpson said he spent the time packing, showering

  and dressing. He left the house several times, to search for golf balls, to walk the

  dog, to move his Bronco and return it.


  Petrocelli also will grill Simpson about cuts and bruises on his hands and arms,

  and the slow-speed chase in which he reportedly carried $8,700 in cash, a

  disguise and a passport.


  During Friday's testimony, Petrocelli appeared to snag Simpson in contradictions.


  ``Simpson was significantly damaged in front of that jury,'' says Southwestern

  University law professor Robert Pugsley.


  Simpson has other problems, according to Time magazine, which reports that he

  is virtually broke and spends his time brooding about his legal case.


  Quoting a ``knowledgable source,'' the magazine says Simpson lawyer Robert

  Blasier is living on Simpson's estate as a cost-cutting measure. He's in the guest

  quarters once occupied by Brian ``Kato'' Kaelin.


  Simpson's lead lawyer, Robert Baker, threatened to quit last summer over money

  issues, the magazine said.


  The plaintiffs, the Goldman and Brown families, are seeking damages if Simpson

  is found liable for the deaths.