After losing their fight for a share of blood evidence, O.J. Simpson's lawyers are returning to their attack on the credibility of the policeman who says he found a bloody glove outside Simpson's house.
Defense lawyers want police to turn over the personnel records of Detective Mark Fuhrman, claiming he is racist and once tried to frame a black suspect.The police department says the request invades Fuhrman's privacy. Fuhrman's lawyer calls it a sign of desperation. Fuhrman denies the allegations.
A hearing was set for Monday before Judge Lance Ito.
The defense also wants Fuhrman's military records and police department records on other officers involved in the case, including Detectives Philip Van-natter, Tom Lange and Fuhrman's partner, Ronald Phillips.
In a motion filed earlier this month, the defense claimed that Vannatter and Lange lied and concealed facts to get a warrant to search Simpson's estate and that Phillips violated police procedure.
But discrediting Fuhrman is particularly important to the defense because the glove he reported finding the day after the slayings may be among the most incriminating pieces of evidence the prosecution holds. It allegedly matches a glove found at the crime scene.
Prosecutors say that Simpson dropped the glove outside his Brentwood estate after killing ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman outside her condominium. Simpson has pleaded not guilty. His trial is set to begin Sept. 19.
Last week, defense lawyers went after the scientific side of the case against Simpson, suggesting that blood samples collected as evidence were contaminated by sloppy police work.
After a hearing, Ito refused to give the defense a share of the samples to test but agreed that the prosecution's handling of the evidence was "less than exemplary."
One legal expert said the goal of Simpson's team all along was not to get the samples but to discredit the prosecution's DNA test results.
"They placed a seed of doubt in the mind of the public," said Stanley Goldman, a Loyola University law professor. "The defense got . . . an opportunity to question witnesses that it otherwise wouldn't have had, thereby allowing it to know where to go during the trial."
In other developments:
- CNN reported Sunday that an employee at the garage where Simpson's white Bronco was impounded allegedly broke into the vehicle to look for items to sell but found only Simpson's gasoline receipts. Police later recovered the receipts.
Citing unidentified sources, the network said prosecutors fear evidence taken from the Bronco might be thrown out.
- Newsweek reported in the issue on newstands Monday that a fake beard Simpson bought a few weeks before the killings was found in the Ford Bronco owned and driven by friend Al Cowlings during the nationally televised freeway procession that ended with Simpson's arrest on June 17.
Unidentified members of Simpson's defense team told Newsweek that Simpson had planned to wear the disguise when he took his children to Disneyland.