A day after frantic 911 calls from O.J. Simpson's ex-wife were broadcast worldwide, the city's top prosecutor said he would impose a blackout on the case and challenged news organizations to fight him.
"It is time to cut it off," District Attorney Gil Garcetti said Thursday. "I am now trying to put a lid on this from my position."Garcetti promised to reject any future requests for public records, saying it would harm Simpson's shot at a fair trial.
Some critics claim Garcetti himself has contributed to the media feeding frenzy with frequent televised news conferences. Garcetti appeared virtually nonstop on television throughout the weekend after Simpson's arrest on murder charges.
"He's thinking more with his ego than his brains," said Harland Braun, a criminal defense lawyer who once worked with Garcetti in the district attorney's office. "You can't make political hay out of this tragedy, it's going to boomerang. . . . People don't like to see you gloating on television about it."
Simpson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murders of Nicole Brown Simpson, 35, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, 25. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
A Los Angeles County grand jury was to convene again today. A grand jury indictment would preclude a preliminary hearing, which is scheduled June 30, and send the case straight to trial.
Investigators on Thursday also sealed affidavits for search warrants conducted after the killings. Some media reports about evidence have turned out to be false.
But the flood of pretrial publicity continued.
ABC-TV and the Los Angeles Times reported that Simpson allegedly smashed a car windshield with a baseball bat during an argument with Nicole Simpson shortly after they were married in 1985.
Robert Shapiro, Simpson's attorney, said only that Simpson struck his wife's car with an object.