Chronology of Criminal & Civil Trials
Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are stabbed to death. Their
June 12, 1994 bodies found in the front courtyard of the Nicole's condominium in
O.J. Simpson is notified of the murders while on a business trip in Chicago.
He returns to Los Angeles, is temporarily handcuffed, and taken in for
June 13, 1994
questioning. Robert Shapiro is contacted on Simpson's behalf and asked to
become defense counsel.
June 16, 1994 The funerals of the victims are held.
About to be arrested for murder, Simpson slips out of Robert Kardashian's
home. He is chased by police while riding in his white Ford Bronco, driven
June 17, 1994
by friend A.C. Cowlings. When he returns to his home on Rockingham,
Simpson is taken into custody.
June 24, 1994 Grand jury recused.
Six-day preliminary hearing ends with Judge Kathleen Kennedy-Powell
July 8, 1994 ruling there is sufficient evidence for O.J. Simpson to stand trial on two
counts of first-degree murder.
O.J. pleads "absolutely 100 percent not guilty" to the charges. Judge Lance
July 22, 1994
A. Ito assigned to hear case.
Defense counsel files motion to obtain personnel records of Detective Mark
August 18, 1994
September 2, 1994 District attorney files motion to sequester jury.
September 9, 1994 District attorney announces that the death penalty will not be sought.
September 19, 1994 Judge Ito upholds the legality of the search of Simpson's home.
Jury panel selected: eight black, one white, one hispanic, two mixed race;
November 3, 1994
eight women, four men.
December 8, 1994 Alternate jury selected.
January 4, 1995 Defense waives hearing for challenge of prosecution's DNA evidence.
The jury is sequestered. Hearing held on admissibility of domestic-abuse
January 11, 1995
Prosecutor Christopher Darden and defense attorney Johnnie Cochran argue
January 13, 1995
over racist language regarding the upcoming testimony of Mark Fuhrman.
Trial opens. Prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden deliver
January 24, 1995
January 25, 1995 Johnnie Cochran makes opening statement for the defense.
January 27, 1995 O.J. Simpson's book, I Want to Tell You, is published.
Nicole Brown's sister Denise testifies about O.J. Simpson's abuse of her
February 3, 1995
February 12, 1995 Jurors take field trip to Simpson home and Bundy Drive crime scene.
Detective Mark Fuhrman, cross-examined by defense attorney F. Lee Bailey,
March 15, 1995
denies using the word "nigger" at any time in the previous ten years.
April 11, 1995 L.A.P.D. criminalist Dennis Fung concedes, under cross-examination by
defense attorney Barry Scheck, procedural errors.
After three sheriff's deputies are reassigned, jurors protest. They first refuse
April 21, 1995
to come to court, then show up dressed in black.
May 4, 1995 Wrongful death suit filed on behalf of the Goldmans.
May 10, 1995 DNA testimony begins.
May 15, 1995 Simpson tries on the bloody gloves. They seem not to fit.
July 6, 1995 The prosecution rests.
July 10, 1995 The defense calls its first witness, Arnelle Simpson, O.J. Simpson's daughter.
Controversy over possible conflict of interest concerning Judge Ito. Marchia
August 15, 1995
Clark asks Ito to recuse himself from Simpson trial.
August 16, 1995 Clark changes her mind on Ito recusal.
Superior court judge John Reid rules that Captain York's testimony is not
August 18, 1995
relevant to Simpson trial.
August 29, 1995 Fuhrman tapes played in court, with jury absent.
August 31, 1995 Judge Ito rules that jury will hear two excerpts of controversial tapes.
September 5, 1995 The jury hears excerpts from Fuhrman tapes.
With jury absent, Mark Fuhrman appears on stand. He refuses to answer
September 6, 1995
questions, citing his Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination.
The defense announces that Simpson won't testify on his own behalf. The
defense asks Judge Ito to instruct jury as to reason for Fuhrman's further
September 7, 1995
nonappearance. Judge agrees, but prosecution objects. The question is
September 8, 1995 Appeals court rejects Ito's jury instruction.
Defense refuses to rest their case due to the unresolved question of judge's
September 11, 1995 instruction to jury concerning Fuhrman. Judge Ito orders prosecution to
begin its rebuttal.
September 18, 1995 Prosecution conditionally rests its case.
Detective Vannatter is cross-examined by Shapiro on statements he made to
September 19, 1995
mob informants about why police went to O.J. Simpson's residence.
Both defense and prosecution rest their cases. In a statement to judge
September 21, 1995 waiving his right to testify, Simpson says "I did not, could not, and would not
have committed this crime." Judge Ito gives jury instructions.
Sept. 26 & 27, 1995 Clark and Darden deliver prosecution's closing arguments.
Cochran and Scheck deliver defense's closing arguments. Cochran makes
Sept. 27 & 28, 1995
controversial statements to the jury comparing Fuhrman to Hitler.
September 29, 1995 The case goes to the jury.
October 2, 1995 After less than four hours, jury announces that it has reached a verdict.
October 3, 1995 Jury finds O.J. Simpson not guilty of two counts of murder.
Opening statements in civil trial. Jury consists of nine whites, one black,
October 23, 1996
one Hispanic, and one person of mixed Asian and African ancestry.
Simpson testifies before a jury for the first time. He denies killing Goldman
November 22, 1996
or his former wife, but cannot explain the physical evidence against him.
December 9, 1996 Fred Goldman, Ron's father, testifies. Plaintiffs rest.
December 20, 1996 Simpson awarded custody of his children by an Orange County judge.
January 10, 1997 Simpson on the stand again.
January 16, 1997 Both sides rest. Jury has heard 101 witnesses over 41 days of testimony.
Closing argument of Daniel Petrocelli for the plaintiffs. Petrocelli points at
January 21, 1997
Simpson and says, "There's a killer in this courtroom."
January 22, 1997 Closing argument by Robert Baker, representing Simpson.
Jury finds Simpson liable and awards plaintiffs $8.5 million in in
February 4, 1997
Court orders Simpson to turn over his assets, including 1968 Heisman trophy,
March 26, 1997
a Warhol painting, and his golf clubs.
The Brentwood estate is auctioned off (and the new owner soon demolishes
July 14, 1997
Simpson's attorneys appeal wrongful death award against him, calling award
June 30, 1998 "excessive and the clear result of passion and prejudice on the part of the
Brown and Goldman families split proceeds from an auction of O. J.
November 2, 1998
O. J. Simpson and the Browns negotiate a custody arrangement for the two
May 10, 1999
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