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Court to hear about Simpson's trip to Chicago

December 5, 1996
Web posted at: 12:45 p.m. EST

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SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- The O.J. Simpson civil trial is expected to resume Thursday with jurors listening to the videotaped testimony of three witnesses about Simpson's trip to Chicago on the night of the murders.

Also on the witness list is longtime friend Robert Kardashian, who has allegedly resisted testifying without a subpoena and may also appear by videotape. Simpson's business lawyer, Leroy "Skip" Taft, is expected to testify as well.

Private investigator Randall Petee will return to the stand for cross-examination. Petee has driven to and from Simpson's Rockingham estate and Nicole Brown Simpson's condominium, using various routes. According to Petee, it takes between four and seven minutes to complete the drive.

Thursday's testimony comes a day after Simpson's former girlfriend contradicted his testimony on key points.

Paula Barbieri, in videotaped testimony, said she left a message on Simpson's cellular telephone voice mail to break up with him on June 12, 1994, the day his ex-wife and her friend Ronald Goldman were killed.

Barbieri, who began dating Simpson again in April 1994 after breaking off their romance in 1993, said her decision to end the relationship in 1994 did not result from an argument. She said she received three phone messages from him that day leaving her to believe that he had received her message.

Simpson had testified he never received Barbieri's message. Under cross-examination, Barbieri said she could not be certain Simpson got her message.

Asked by the defense if she had ever known Simpson to be violent, she answered, "No."

Barbieri said she and Simpson studied the Bible together while he was in jail during the criminal trial, and once Simpson asked, "Why is God doing this to me? I didn't do it. I didn't kill anyone." That response was struck from the record after objections from plaintiffs' lawyers.

Barbieri testified by videotape because she could not be present. Simpson was absent, because he was testifying in his child custody trial.

Simpson, who was acquitted of murder last year, is being sued by the victims' families, who maintain he is liable for the murders.

Shelter worker took call from 'Nicole'

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Earlier, a woman who answers a hot line at the Sojourn House battered women's shelter testified that a woman named "Nicole" told her that her husband was stalking her and had beaten her "throughout her marriage."

The testimony was banned from the criminal trial as hearsay, but Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki allowed it over defense objections -- and opened up a possible alley for appeal.

Ney told jurors she received the call on June 7, 1994.

"She did say he was very high-profile. She said if she told me his name, I would know who he was," Ney testified.

Ney said the woman was about the same age as Nicole Brown Simpson, with two young children and an ex-husband to whom she had been married eight years. Ney claimed the voice on the phone was consistent with Nicole Brown Simpson's voice on a tape of a call to police in 1993.

sketch

"She said he (her unidentified ex-husband) told her a few different times that if he ever caught her with another man, he would kill her," Ney said, recounting the phone call.

Under cross-examination, defense attorney Robert Baker asked Ney why much of the information in her testimony was not reflected on a form she filled out at the time of the call. Ney said she usually took few notes.

Baker also suggested that publicity about Soujourn House had generated numerous donations and that the "caller" story had been planted in the media. Ney denied that.

Also Wednesday:

  • Leslie Gardner testified Simpson kept a black sweat outfit after he finished filming a workout video in May 1994. Gardner, the video's wardrobe stylist, said it was customary for the "talent" to keep the clothes they were provided.
  • Simpson testified he never owned a dark-colored sweat suit. Kato Kaelin testified Simpson was wearing a dark sweat suit when they went to McDonald's on June 12.
  • Dr. Ronald Fishman, who had vacationed with Simpson, Nicole Brown Simpson and Fishman's ex-wife, told jurors that from April 1994 to June 1994 Simpson had told him his relationship with Nicole was rocky. Simpson appeared frustrated and confused during the period and felt Nicole was rejecting him, Fishman said.

Fishman, a reluctant witness, said he saw Simpson in the late afternoon on the day of the murders while at a dance recital for their daughters.

"In all the years you have known him, he never appeared the way he appeared at that recital to you?" plaintiffs' attorney Michael Brewer asked Fishman.

"That's true," Fishman answered.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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