The OJ Simpson Trial Timeline
Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.Photo:Theroot
June 1994 – The Murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson
JUNE 12: 9:35 p.m.: Houseguest extraordinaire, Brian “Kato” Kaelin returns from a quick trip to McDonald’s with OJ.
11 p.m: O.J. meets he’s scheduled limo in front of his house and is taken to airport for a work trip to Chicago.
JUNE 13: 12:10 a.m.: Ex-wife of OJ and mother to his children, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, are found murdered in a gruesome crime scene just outside of her Brentwood condo as her children were inside asleep. Her throat is slashed so deeply, she is almost decapitated. The crime-scene images are haunting.
12 Noon – Having been notified of Nicole’s death, O.J. returns to Los Angeles on the first flight out the next day. He is met by police and interrogated for 3 hours at the police station.
JUNE 15:O.J. realizes he is in dire need of representation and his friend Robert Kardashian puts in a call to LA attorney to the stars, Robert Shapiro. Shapiro takes over as lead counsel for O.J.’s defense.
JUNE 16: The funeral of Nicole hits LA hard. People are already beginning to talk and suspect OJ might be the killer. In an unpopular move, O.J. accompanies his children, Sydney and Justin to his murdered ex-wife’s funeral.
JUNE 17: The day after the funeral, O.J. Simpson is charged by the city of Los Angeles with two counts of murder with special circumstances.
In a desperate attempt to flee, O.J. leads police on 60-mile, low-speed pursuit throughout Orange County. People around the world are glued to their TV’s watching OJ run. His friend Al Cowling is at the wheel and talking to police as OJ contemplates suicide. Right then and there, most people believe that OJ is guilty.
9 p.m.: O.J. arrested at his home as the world watches. He is soon in jail without bail. The trial of the century is about to the shape.
JULY 8: Judge Kathleen Kennedy-Powell rules that there is “ample evidence” to put O.J. on trial. Lawyers are called, witnesses are notified and the media is frothing.
JULY 20: O.J. and his lawyers make a plea to the public to find Nicole’s murderers. They offer up a $500,000 reward for information leading to arrest of the”real killers.” Many can’t believe the nerve of OJ and his dream team of lawyers. The divide deepens between the public in favor and against OJ.
JULY 22: O.J. stands in front of the judge and pleads “absolutely, 100% not guilty”-Superior Court Judge Lance Ito is selected to oversee the trial.
JULY 27: Goldman’s mother files wrongful death lawsuit against O.J.-The documents allege that OJ “willfully, wantonly and maliciously” killed her son, Ronald Goldman.
JULY 30: Grand jury paints the picture of a jealous O.J. who beat and stalked his ex-wife and her companion and eventually ended their lives.
AUG. 22: DNA tests show O.J.’s blood matches blood trail leading from murder scene.
SEPT. 9: Prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden seek life without parole for O.J.
SEPT. 26: Jury selection begins.
NOV. 3: After careful selection, a Jury of eight women and four men is selected and includes eight blacks, one white, one Hispanic and two people of mixed race.
JAN.4: Defense abandons challenge of DNA evidence. They know It’s O.J., They form plan.
JAN. 8: O.J’s plans to publish a book titled “I Want to Tell You” People are outraged.
JAN. 11: prosecutors releases documents that accuse O.J. of a long history of abusing ex-wife.
JAN. 12: Judge Ito hears defense arguments about possible racial attitude of Detective Mark Fuhrman, who found bloody glove at O.J.’s estate. They allude the glove was possibly planted by Fuhrman.
JAN. 23: Opening statements – two jurors have been dismissed.
JAN. 31: First prosecution witness takes the stand. 911 operator,Sharyn Gilbert, who answered call from O.J.’s home on Jan. 1, 1989; said she heard woman being beaten.
FEB. 1-2: Ronald Shipp, a friend of OJ testifies that he told him that he dreamed of killing his ex-wife. The night of the killings. Read his testimony HERE
FEB. 3, 6: Denise Brown testifies that O.J. was abusive toward her sister Nicole. Disturbing photos are introduced as evidence along with violent recordings from a 911 call from Nicole brown Simpson. The image of OJ’s squeaky clean image is being pulled back to reveal a man with a terrible temper.
FEB. 7: Pablo Fenjves, neighbor of Nicole testifies that he heard dog crying from Nicole’s condo at 10:15 p.m.- he remembered the time because he was watching the news.
FEB. 12: In a public spectacle, Jurors tour crime scenes.
FEB. 27: Rosa Lopez said she took her employer’s dog for a walk shortly after 10 p.m. on June 12. She said that she saw OJ’s Bronco outside her house at 10:15 p.m. All these testimonies would become huge for the prosecution’s timeline.
MARCH 9-10, 13-16: Detective Fuhrman tells of finding bloody glove behind guest house at the O.J. estate. He also declares he had not used racial slur of any kind in 10 years or longer. This becomes a flash point of the case. In recent interviews Fuhrman is recorded saying racial slurs over and over. Whether or not he had anything to do with planted evidence becomes moot. The doubt is placed making his evidence and his reasons suspect.
MARCH 22-23, 27-28: “Kato” Kaelin tells of last seeing O.J. at 9:35 on night of killings. Later under prosecution questioning, Kato says he wouldn’t lie under oath for O.J. – This witness becomes the butt of jokes on late night television as his testimony comes off as an acting resume. Nothing he says is really believable.
Kato Kaelin. Photo:NYDAILYnews
MARCH 28: Limo driver Allan Park says O.J. didn’t answer bell at his home from 10:40 until 11 p.m. Says OJ was sweaty even though he said OJ claimed he was sleeping. He made reference to the fact that OJ was “trying” to be calm but seemed agitated. He later explains how he saw OJ enter the home just 15 minutes before through a side door.
MAY 8-12, 15: DNA lab director Robin Cotton provide astronomical odds that show that without a shadow of a doubt, that the blood from the crime scene examinations could only be from O.J. Simpson.
DNA evidence shows OJs blood at Bundy. Photo:Mordundtoschlag
JUNE 2, 6-9, 12-15: Jurors see grisly pictures of murder victims for first time, Coroner explains in detail how they were killed. The testimony is disturbing as it would require a person big enough to overpower the couple. The attack was fast and fierce, the images show incredible amounts of blood throughout the walkway to Nicole’s home.
Nicole Simpson at her Condo as Detective Fuhrman points to a glove. Photo:Gazettenet
Ron Goldman’s body was found just a few feet from Nicole Simpson. Photo: Gazettenet
JUNE 15: Prosecution tells OJ to try on the gloves that were found at the scene. O.J. tries them on, barely getting into them. Johnny Cochrane, OJ’s attorney tells jury, “They don’t fit.” Thus coining the soon to be famous phrase “if the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit.” this was a devastating blow to the prosecution who thought they had a homerun on their hands. Instead doubt was what the jury came up with.
“They dont fit.”Photo:Reddit
JULY 7: Prosecution rests it’s case.
JULY 10: O.J.’s daughter, Arnelle, testifies as first defense witness. Regardless os the evidence, she stands by her father and claims he could never do such a thing.
Arnelle Simpson testifies. Photo:timelines
JULY 11: Danny Mandel testifies that he and date walked past Nicole’s condo at 10:20 and saw nothing unusual, raising doubts about prosecution’s estimate of time of killings.
JULY 11: Robert Heidstra said he heard men arguing in vicinity of Nicole’s condo while he was walking dogs at 10:35, -this raised new questions about the time of killings.
One of the dogs that was barking the night of the murders. Photo:Crimefeed
JULY 14, 17-18: Robert Huzienga, O.J.’s doctor, backs up defense contention that O.J. was slowed by injuries but also capable of carrying out the murders of Ron and Nicole.
JULY 24: Toxicologist, Frederic Rieders, admits that he found evidence of blood preservative, which opens the door for suspected police tampering of the evidence.
AUG. 2: Defense has Microbiologist John Gerdes on stand and he quickly declared that the L.A. police crime lab is contaminated and casts doubt on the DNA test.
Tainted evidence? Photo:SDUniontribune
AUG. 7: North Carolina appeals court clears way for O.J.’s defense team to get access to tapes of Fuhrman using racial epithet only a few years ago, thus casting light on the detective and exposing his hidden racist agenda.
AUG. 10-11: Defense brings in Michael Baden, famous New York City medical examiner. He says he doesn’t agree with autopsy findings and casts doubt on prosecution’s theories of how killings took place.
AUG. 15: Prosecution calls on Judge Ito to step down after Detective Fuhrman is heard berating Ito’s wife, who happens to be an officer, in tapes made for a book. second judge steps in to decide.
Judge Ito was in charge of the circus. Photo:CBS
AUG. 17: Gilbert Aguilar a police fingerprint specialist analized crime scene and says that O.J.’s prints were not among any of almost 20 sets that were found at the crime scene.
AUG. 18: Judge Ito remains on the case after a second judge blocks testimony about Fuhrman.
AUG. 22-25, 28: Forensics expert Lee testifies to finding other shoe prints at the crime scene. Much was made of OJ’s but there others that didn’t match O.J.’s Bruno Magli shoes; Lee said police mishandled evidence.
LAPD’s Mark Fuhrman points to evidence near the body of Nicole Brown Simpson on the bloodstained walkway. June 13, 1994.Photo:TheTampabay
AUG. 29: In a shocking day in court, on tape, excerpts of recorded interviews between Fuhrman and a screenwriter named Laura McKinny were played. Detective Fuhrman used the word “nigger” 41 times, and described, quite enthusiastically, police brutality. It was a huge blow for the prosecution.
SEPT. 5: Five witnesses testify to Fuhrman’s use of racial epithet. Detective Fuhrman invokes Fifth Amendment protection in his further testimony.
Fuhrman wasn’t all he said he was. Photo:SandiegoUnionTribune
SEPT. 7: Ito announces he’ll give jury vague instruction about why Fuhrman will not testify; prosecution appeals. (Appeals court ruled the next day that Ito can not give hint about Fuhrman invoking Fifth Amendment.)
SEPT. 8: SEPT. 11: Judge Ito orders prosecution to begin rebuttal; they fire back with five photographers who testify about pictures of O.J. wearing gloves like ones linked to crime. Expert says “100% certain” the gloves in the photos and at the crime scene were identical.
OJ in the gloves. Photo:youtube
SEPT. 13: Expert at the State crime lab says that the most sophisticated DNA tests available to them have found Ron Goldman’s blood in O.J.’s Bronco.
SEPT. 18: As the prosecution tentatively closes rebuttal.
SEPT. 19: Mobster Craig Anthony Fiato takes the stand to portray Detective Vannatter as a liar.
Vannatter gets examined by Shapiro. Photo:CBS
Sidebar: Simpson registers and trademarks his name.
SEPT. 20: The circus continues; Judge Ito admonishes both sides saying;”It’s astonishing what we’ve sunk to.” Trivial bickering and infighting has become the norm as both sides battle for justice.
September 1995 Cont…
SEPT. 21: Judge Ito directs his jury that they CAN find OJ Simpson guilty of second-degree murder if they cannot agree on the count of First Degree
SEPT. 26/27: Prosecutor Marcia Clark starts closing arguments. She directs anger at the former star witness in her case, Detective Mark Fuhrman.His hidden racism may have cost her the case. Darden closes prosecution’s case.
SEPT. 27/28:Defense begins closing arguments and they send up their star, Johnny Cochran. Regarding the glove and other evidence he hammers home “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” He wraps up the case by saying to the jury, “God bless you.”
SEPT. 29: At 4:08 p.m. judge Ito gives the case to the jury but not before 60 objections from the defense. Darden and Clark show one last video that displays everything from the 1989 911 call, to images of OJ and his shoes and gloves and finally, the crime scene photos of the bloody victims. It’s disturbing to everyone.
OCT. 2: The Jury begins its deliberations around 9 a.m. They return a verdict by the end of the day.
An estimated 100 million people worldwide stopped what they were doing to watch or listen to the verdict announcement.
OCT. 3: In a shocking moment, Los Angeles, The United States and even the world finally heard the verdict that we were all speculating about. NOT GUILTY.
That was not going to be the end of the case though. In later years he was found guilty in a 1997 civil judgement. That court required less evidence and allowed some evidence not allowable in the higher courts. The jury convicted Simpson and ordered him to pay $25 million to the family of Ron Goldman. One juror even said ”Finding O. J. Simpson liable of the murders and acting with oppression and malice was one of the easiest decisions I have ever had to make.”
While many thought that this would be the end of OJ, that was not to be. He golfed and yucked it up for the cameras and paparazzi. He was all set to publish a book called “If I Did It,” Much to the disgust of people everywhere and especially the Goldman family. The soon were granted the rights because of their civil suit victory, and the book was later released called “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.”
In the final chapter of the Simpson tale, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada In September 2007, and charged with numerous felonies, including armed robbery and kidnapping. In 2008, he was found guilty and sentenced to 33 years in prison at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada.