After more than two weeks of peculiar grand jury witnesses, news media leaks about blood and hair and the judge's vacation, the O.J. Simpson case is getting back to courtroom business.
Although the trial doesn't officially start for another week, the case virtually resumes Monday with a critical hearing, climaxing a series of events that by turns have been tragic, bizarre, dramatic and comical.An all-out victory would set Simpson free. Partial victories could hamper the prosecution.
Like previous hearings, the session that begins Monday will be a media event, broadcast live to a national television audience with lawyers playing both to the judge and to potential jurors.
The trial's official start with jury selection is Sept. 26. But legal analysts said the hearing that opens Monday should top what looks to be several weeks of tedious, non-televised jury questioning. And that will be followed by a grueling hearing to determine what evidence will be admissible.
"Things get rolling Monday," said Stanley Goldman, professor at Loyola University Law School. "What gets rolling is far more interesting than anything that goes on in the next two months."
Simpson, 47, has pleaded not guilty in the June 12 slayings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, 35, and her friend Ronald Goldman, 25. He remains jailed without bail.
On Monday, Simpson's attorneys will argue the charges should be dropped because much of the evidence used to bind Simpson over for trial was either illegally obtained by police or shed little light on whether he committed the murders.
If that argument doesn't fly - legal analysts say it almost certainly won't - the defense will take aim at the evidence itself, asking the judge to rule as inadmissible everything from the bloody glove found behind Simpson's guest house to a copy of the script for "Frogmen," an action-adventure television show featuring Simpson. The show hasn't been aired.