Simpson jurors go over blood and DNA testimony

  Jonathan T. Lovitt ; Richard Price


  USA Today


  Page 06A

  (Copyright 1997)


  SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- While a restless crowd waited in the sun outside the

  courthouse, the O.J. Simpson jurors completed their 14th hour of deliberations

  Thursday. At least part of their discussion focused on blood.


  The seven women and five men contacted the judge twice Thursday. At

  midmorning, they asked for 12 items dealing with blood evidence in the 1994

  murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.


  In the afternoon, they returned to court for a read-back of testimony taken from

  Gary Simms, a DNA expert with the California Department of Justice who was a

  witness for the plaintiffs in this civil trial.


  They also viewed three videos, a police video of Simpson's Rockingham home

  the day after the murders and two news videos showing police and criminalists

  carrying evidence both at the murder scene and at Simpson's home.


  That included a vial of Simpson's blood brought to the defendant's home by

  then-lead detective Philip Vannatter. The defense contends blood from the vial

  was planted by police as evidence against Simpson.


  In the read-back, a plaintiffs lawyer was asking Simms about possible

  contamination of blood he tested for DNA matches. Simms said there was no



  The items requested earlier included, among other things, pictures of blood stains

  on the rear gate and walkway near the murder scene at Nicole's condo, at

  Simpson's house and in his Bronco.


  Jurors exchanged whispers during the read-back and the videos.


  Their foreman is a white male in his late 50s or early 60s who is the son of a

  police officer. He said before the trial that while he thought Simpson probably

  was guilty, the prosecution in Simpson's criminal trial ``failed to prove its case.''


  The foreman was the most prolific note-taker of the jurors. He has a background

  working with technical information.


  Also Thursday, The Associated Press, citing unnamed sources, reported that

  Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki ordered a sheriff's probe into allegations that several

  jurors had been sent letters by two jurors from Simpson's criminal trial and an

  entertainment agent named Bud Stewart.


  The letters were proposals to represent the civil jurors in various deals, the report



  Fujisaki also issued a court order banning the use of bullhorns outside the



  Some enthusiasts had used the bullhorns to shout ``killer'' at Simpson and

  ``gold-diggers'' at the Goldman family, who with Nicole Simpson's family are

  plaintiffs in the case.