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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

O.J. Defense Reveals Evidence Of Blood 'Frame-Up' to Jurors

LOS ANGELES -- O.J. Simpson's lawyers have revealed to jurors their strongest evidence that the former U.S. football star was framed: a scientist's conclusion that a blood preservative used at the police lab was found in key evidence.


The defense has long contended that traces of the preservative on a bloody sock found in Simpson's bedroom and a metal gate outside his ex-wife's condominium show that the blood was planted as part of a conspiracy.


Simpson has pleaded not guilty to the June 1994 slashing deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.


Prosecutor Marcia Clark clashed with defense toxicologist Fredric Rieders on cross-examination, suggesting Monday that his conclusions were based on a misreading of government reports. But Rieders denounced her assumptions as "absolutely incorrect'' and "absurd.''


Rieders did not test the actual evidence, but analyzed an FBI agent's reports on tests for the preservative. Although Rieders faulted the FBI methods, he said the tests clearly point to the telltale chemical, EDTA, in the socks and gate blood.


He said the chemical also was seen on a small blood sample cut from a sock.


Defense lawyers contend that the socks were smeared with Nicole Simpson's autopsy blood sample and that the gate blood came from a sample Simpson provided the day after the killings.


On cross-examination, Clark noted that the FBI agent who tested evidence for EDTA at one point took his own blood, tested it and found as much EDTA as is on the evidence.


Asked how he accounted for that, Rieders said, "I don't account for it. He would have to account for it. It's absurd.''


Even when Clark confronted Rieders with another case in which his conclusions were disputed, he held his ground and insisted he was right.


Legal analysts said Rieders bested Clark in the scientific duel.


"The difficulty when you argue science with a witness, is the jury sits there and doesn't know who is right,'' said Myrna Raeder, a professor at Southwestern University School of Law. "Obviously, they're not going to understand the science, but he came across in a believable manner. And jurors will oftentimes rely on people they think they can trust.''


As Clark left the courtroom she told reporters, "I'm not done.'' But she will have to wait until Friday, when Rieders resumes his testimony. Because of scheduling conflicts, other witnesses will testify in the meantime.