Timeline O.J. Simpson murder trial
The bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson, the ex-wife of former football star O.J. Simpson, and Ronald Lyle Goldman are found outside Nicole Simpson’s Brentwood townhouse.
After agreeing to turn himself in to authorities, Simpson and former USC teammate Al Cowlings lead police on an internationally televised car chase. Simpson is arrested and charged in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend.
O.J. Simpson pleaded not guilty to charges that he murdered his ex-wife and her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman.
Simpson proclaims that he is “absolutely, 100% not guilty.” Simpson had been arraigned on June 20 in Municipal Court, where his preliminary hearing was held. (The Municipal Court and Superior Court systems were merged in 2000). Under the court system at that time, defendants who were ordered to stand trial on serious charges in Municipal Court had to be arraigned again in Superior Court, where the trial was held.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito is assigned to the Simpson case.
Prosecutors announce that they will not seek the death penalty against O.J. Simpson and instead will ask that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole if convicted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend.
More than 200 prospective jurors report for duty as the murder trial of O.J. Simpson begins.
A predominantly black group of eight women and four men drawn from across Los Angeles County is sworn in to serve as the jury in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, capping five weeks of prolonged and detailed questioning.
On Monday, Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito tells jurors and alternates in the O.J. Simpson case that they are to meet at a secret location Wednesday morning to be sequestered for the duration of the double-murder trial.
Ending months of anticipation, prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson murder trial finally reveal their case in public, telling 12 jurors and millions of television viewers that the affable public face of the star athlete hid a controlling spouse who tried to dominate his wife and who killed her when he failed.
Read excerpts of the prosecution’s opening statements.
O.J. Simpson’s book “I Want to Tell You,” goes on sale.
Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., Simpson’s lead trial attorney, completes the his opening statements. “This careless, slipshod and negligent collection and handling and processing of samples by basically poorly trained personnel from LAPD has contaminated, compromised and corrupted the DNA evidence in this case,” Cochran told the jurors.
Read excerpts of the opening statements
Officer Robert Riske, the first LAPD officer to come upon the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman, testifies that he and other officers had carefully avoided compromising evidence but also said that he had picked up Nicole Simpson’s phone without gloves and without dusting it for fingerprints.
Judge Lance A. Ito, jurors and attorneys tour Simpson’s Rockingham Avenue home (demolished in 1998), the crime scene and other key locations.
LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman is cross-examined by attorney F. Lee Bailey. Fuhrman denies making racist comments and dismisses the suggestion that he tampered with evidence in the murder investigation of O.J. Simpson.
Brian “Kato” Kaelin, on the stand for a second day, describes his evening with O.J. Simpson in the hours before the stabbings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman.
Dennis Fung, an LAPD criminalist, concedes that errors were made at the crime scene.
More than three months after promising jurors that DNA test results would connect O.J. Simpson to a pair of bloody homicides, prosecutors begin the task of presenting that crucial evidence, opening the most important phase of their case with a brief seminar on genetics.
Jurors get their first look at the autopsy photographs of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman
In a gripping scene that transfixes the jurors, O.J. Simpson worked his hands into the pair of frayed, bloodied leather gloves that prosecutors say he wore to murder Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman—and pronounced them “Too tight.”
The prosecution’s long-awaited announcement that “the people rest” concluded an exhaustive, detailed case that began in January and saw 58 witnesses testify before the jury.
Kicking off their defense of O.J. Simpson, his lawyers begin by putting his daughter, sister and mother on the stand, where all three paint loving portraits of him and tell the jury that he seemed badly distraught by the news of his ex-wife’s death.
The testimony of several defense expert witnesses begins. An FBI agent testifies that a pair of blood samples introduced by prosecutors did not come from preservative-laced test tubes, as the defense has alleged.
For the first time since Mark Fuhrman left the witness stand in March, his voice fills the courtroom, this time boasting about police brutality and uttering a racial epithet time after time, statements that contradicted his earlier testimony and forced the judge to confront what may be his biggest decision of the case.
Mark Fuhrman asserts his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination three times, refusing to answer questions posed by defense lawyers who charge that he framed O.J. Simpson.
Judge Lance Ito orders the prosecution to begin its rebuttal even though the defense has not yet rested.
The presentation of evidence in the O.J. Simpson murder trial concludes dramatically as both sides rest their cases.
Prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden deliver the prosecution’s closing argument.
Defense attorneys Johnnie Cochran Jr. and Barry Scheck deliver the closing argument. “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” Cochran told the jury.
Prosecutor Marcia Clark Clark completes the prosecution’s rebuttal with 911 tapes of Nicole Simpson calling for help in 1989 and 1993 and a photo montage of the victims.
Less than a day after beginning deliberations in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson—and after having one witness’ testimony read back—jurors reach verdicts, a stunning announcement that shocks Simpson, legal analysts, police and the enormous national television audience that has been viewing the proceedings.
O.J. Simpson is acquitted of two counts of murder. The verdicts set the football Hall of Famer free 474 days after he was arrested and charged with a brutal double homicide.
Sources: Times research
Credits: Maloy Moore