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News Briefs 2

O.J. Simpson Case Nears End As Prosecution Continues Rebuttal

Los Angeles Times

O.J. Simpson's double-murder trial lurched closer to conclusion Thursday, when prosecutors called two FBI witnesses they hope will convince jurors that a defense expert was wrong when he told them that evidence at the Bundy crime scene suggested that Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman were killed by two assailants.

Prosecutors used FBI Special Agents Douglas Deedrick, an expert on fiber evidence, and William Bodziak, a footprint specialist, to offer the jury alternative explanations for the bloodstains defense scientist Henry Lee detected on an envelope, the front walkway of Nicole Simpson's condo and on Goldman's blood-drenched trousers.

Lee, the avuncular dean of American forensic scientists, testified last month that the stains - which went undetected by Los Angeles Police Departmet investigators - "could be" from the shoe of a second assailant. He also said the patterns did not come from the Bruno Magli shoes that left other imprints at the scene.

Deedrick, who testified concerning hair-and-fiber evidence during the prosecution's case-in-chief, took the stand shortly after lunch Thursday. In a brief examination by lead prosecutor Marcia Clark, he testified that the bloodstain impressions on Goldman's blue jeans could have been made by the swiping motion of victim's own shirt, which itself was drenched by the blood from multiple stab wounds.

Judge in Oklahoma Bombing Case Refuses to Step Down

LOSangeles times

In a blow to both the prosecution and defense, a federal judge ignored pressure and refused to step down in the trial of Oklahoma City bombing suspects Timothy J. McVeigh and Terry L. Nichols.

U.S. District Judge Wayne E. Alley also ordered the trial to begin May 17 at the federal courthouse in Lawton, Okla. - a decision bound to please federal prosecutors who want to keep it in Oklahoma, but one the defense found deeply disturbing.

Alley, a former Army brigadier general who was appointed to the federal court 10 years ago by President Reagan, dismissed allegations from defense attorneys and government lawyers that he and the other seven federal judges here had a conflict of interest.

In an unusual stand of solidarity, the defense and prosecution cited the heavy damage that the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building caused to the U.S. District Courthouse across the street, as well as the fact that many of the federal workers killed in the explosion were friends and relatives of courthouse employees.

But, said Alley, "I have no knowledge of facts disputed in this case. And I do not harbor and have never exhibited bias or prejudice against" McVeigh or Nichols.