October 3, 1995
Web posted at: 6:45 p.m. EDT
LOS ANGELES (CNN) - O.J. Simpson arrived home a free man Tuesday after a jury found him not guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
Simpson returned to the jail in his suit to be processed out, and left a short time later in a white van.
Local news helicopters followed Simpson as they did June 17, 1994, when he fled from police, but this time he was headed home to Brentwood and his mansion on Rockingham drive. Simpson spent 473 days in jail, visiting his home only once, when the jury did in February.
Simpson got out of the van and hugged longtime friend A.C. Cowlings, who drove him on the slow-speed chase last year. About two hours later, his family and other friends arrived.
Some of Simpson's family members and friends could be seen drinking champagne on the front yard and greeting newcomers.
When the verdict was read, Simpson looked elated and mouthed the words "thank you" to the jury. He hugged his attorneys as his family smiled. His son Jason cried and daughter Arnelle looked up, thanking God.
Simpson's family and the defense team gave a press conference less than an hour after the verdict was read. The prosecution and Ron Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, also spoke to reporters.
The jury of eight black women, one black man, two white women and one Hispanic man deliberated less than four hours Monday before reaching the verdict. Judge Lance Ito held it overnight and under seal until the attorneys and family members could make it to court Tuesday.
The jury sat stone faced, as it has throughout the trial, as the verdict was read. Reporters said they stared straight ahead and showed no visible reaction.
The jury agreed uniformly not to speak to attorneys or the media, and said they want their private information to remain confidential.
Prosecutors looked stunned as they stared at the jury. The Goldman family looked horrified, and Kim and Patti Goldman burst into tears. The Brown family also looked stunned.
CNN's Jim Hill reported that members of the Goldman and Brown families held each other up and almost staggered down the hall as they left the courtroom. They did not speak to reporters. Hill said a man's voice, perhaps Fred Goldman's, could be heard saying, "no, no, no."
Crowds cheered in front of the courthouse and at the First AME Church in Los Angeles when the verdict was announced. (714K QuickTime movie)
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