clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

DEFENSE READY TO PORTRAY AN FBI EXPERT AS CORRUPT

Stain by bloody stain, FBI scientific experts have pointed the finger at O.J. Simpson. And as the trial winds down, the defense is preparing to portray at least one of those experts as corrupt.

The defense said in court papers filed late Thursday that FBI agent Frederic Whitehurst will testify that a prosecution witness, agent Roger Martz, committed "misconduct and improprieties" in the Simpson case and others.Granting a defense request, Judge Lance Ito declared Whitehurst a material witness and ordered him to be at the courthouse Tuesday with his notes and records. However, the judge did not rule whether his testimony will be admissible.

"Agent Martz is knowingly and intentionally carrying out FBI policy to suppress information which might be helpful to the defense and to produce results that will only help the prosecution," according to the defense papers.

Whitehurst also set up a sting operation against Martz in another case and caught Martz erroneously reporting the presence of an explosive compound that would have incriminated a defendant, the papers say.

Martz testified earlier in the trial that only scant traces of a preservative called EDTA were found on evidence in the Simpson case. He said EDTA is a common substance that can come from numerous sources.

The defense claims EDTA was present in significant amounts and had been used as a blood preservative in the Los Angeles police crime lab - suggesting Simpson's blood sample was preserved and planted to frame him.

Whitehurst was a witness in the New York terrorist conspiracy trial and testified last month that he was pressured to change a report about his investigation into the World Trade Center bombing to favor the prosecution.

With the FBI's credibility under siege, the prosecution presented testimony Thursday from two of the bureau's scientists who tried to cast doubt on the defense's two-killer theory.

One of the experts testified that bloody parallel-line imprints on an envelope, a piece of paper and on victim Ronald Goldman's jeans didn't come from the shoe of a second killer, as the defense suggested through the testimony of forensic expert Henry Lee.

"These are typical of imprints of fabric material. These are not imprints of a shoe," said Special Agent William Bodziak, an expert in shoe print analysis.

He was to return to the stand today for more questioning by prosecutor Marcia Clark.

Another agent, Douglas Deedrick, testified Thursday that the stains on the envelope and paper - both of which were found at the crime scene - appeared to come from Goldman's jeans, and that a stain on the jeans may have been made by Goldman's own shirt sleeve in a "swiping motion."

Deedrick said that during the struggle, Goldman could also have pressed his jeans against the paper and envelope, which contained a pair of glasses he was returning to Nicole Brown Simpson.

Under cross-examination, Deedrick conceded one imprint could have been caused by a shoe and he couldn't tell if the imprints came from Goldman's clothes or someone else's clothes.