CHRISTOPHER DARDEN'S CLOSING ARGUMENT
MR. DARDEN: You know, they asked me to do the summation Marcia Clark just did for you, but I told them, no, it's too long. I'm not the kind of person who likes to talk that long and Marcia isn't either, but she had to. And I think that one of the things that you probably gathered from hearing her today is that this case really is a simple case in this essence. When you get down to the bottom line, this case really is a simple case. All you have to do is use the tools God gave you, the tools he gave you to use or utilize whenever you're confronted with a problem or an issue. All you have to do is use your common sense. And the Defense would have you believe that this is a complex series of facts and evidence and law and science and all of that. Not really. Not really. You have to question or wonder how it is a lawyer can summarize a case in eight hours when presenting the case took eight months. It's a simple case, but there's been a lot of smoke, a lot of smoke screens, a lot of diversions, a lot of detractions, a lot of distractions, and in some respect, there's been an attempt to get you to lose focus of what the real issues are in this case. And that takes time. If I could give you any advice as jurors, any advice at all, I would say to you, use your common sense. When you get all of this evidence and go into the jury room and after you pick a Foreperson, take that common sense that God gave you, take the evidence that the Prosecution gave you and the Defense evidence, go into that jury room, sit down, spread it out. And using that common sense, ask yourself a question; what does the evidence show. What does the evidence show?
Some people think that because the Defendant in this case is a celebrity, that perhaps he is someone above the law, that there ought to be special rules for him or that somehow he should be treated differently than any other Defendant. But that's not justice. And there are some people that think because Fuhrman is a racist, that we ought to chuck the law out of the window, throw it out of the window, perhaps it shouldn't be applied in this case. Well, that's wrong and that's not why we're here, because we don't ignore the law just because of the status of a Defendant, because of who he is or because of who he knows. That isn't justice. You're here to ensure justice, I'm here to ensure justice and we all know the rules. And the rules say and the law says that he should not kill, that he should not have killed these two people, and the law says that if you believe that he killed these two people and if you believe that it has been proven to you beyond a reasonable doubt, that you should find him guilty. You heard Marcia Clark and you've heard the evidence and you've seen the evidence, and you're reasonable people. And, you know, we know. I mean, if we're honest with ourselves, we know, if we are. And it's unfortunate what we know. But we know the truth, and the truth that we know is that he killed these two people.
There have been lots of issues, lots of issues that came up in this trial. This trial has been an amazing experience. I'm sure you would agree. But even though there are a lot of small issues, a lot of other issues, a lot of little distractions here and there, you're here to address a single issue. This is a single case, one issue; did the Defendant kill these two people. One Defendant, O.J. Simpson. You heard from the Defense in this case and they presented testimony about slurs, epithets as they call them, a bunch of nasty, hateful, low-down language used by Mark Fuhrman. And I'm not even going to call him Detective Fuhrman if I can help it because he doesn't deserve that title. He doesn't warrant that kind of respect, not from me. But this isn't the case of Mark Fuhrman. This is the case of O.J. Simpson. And let me say this to you, if you will allow me to. And I don't mean to offend you or demean you, and I hope that you don't feel that I am. But this is the case of O.J. Simpson, not Mark Fuhrman. The case of Mark Fuhrman, if there's to be a case, that's a case for another forum, not necessarily a case for another day, because today may be the day. But it is a case for another forum, another jury perhaps. This case is about this Defendant, O.J. Simpson, and the "M" word, murder; not about Mark Fuhrman and the "N" word. And you know what that is. I am going to ask you to consider the fact of his misstatements or lies or untruths, however you want to term it, because you have to consider that. That's the law. You have to consider everything Fuhrman said on the witness stand because that's evidence in this case. And I want you to consider it. I want you to consider all the evidence. So don't think that I'm saying, hey, just overlook it, just overlook what he said, just overlook the fact that he lied about having used that slur in the past 10 years. But I am asking you to put it in the proper perspective. You decide what it's worth. You decide what it means. If it helps you in assessing his credibility--and it should, or his lack of credibility, I don't know--then you use it. But please just remember, Fuhrman isn't the only issue in this case and his use of that word is not the only issue in this case. And you have to be concerned about that. I have to be concernedabout it as au lawyer for the Prosecution in this case because it apparently was a very, very significant event for the Defense.
And when I spoke to you back in January, I told you--I promised you I think that I would expose to you the other side of this man, of this Defendant. I promised you that I would expose to you the private side of him, that part of him, the side of him that was capable of extreme rage, jealously and violence, and I said to you back then, I said to you and I asked that you consider the nature of their relationship, with Nicole, because to understand what happened at Bundy, you need to know what happened between them during the 17-year period that they were together off and on, because when you look at that, you see a motive for killing. I'm sure the Defense is going to get up here at some point and say, uh, that domestic violence evidence, it's irrelevant, and they may say to you that just because this Defendant had some marital discord or violence in his marriage to Nicole Brown, that it doesn't mean anything. Well, this isn't a "Just because" issue. This is a "Because" issue. It is because he hit her in the past and because he slapped her and threw her out of the house and kicked her and punched her and grabbed her around the neck, it's because he did these things to her in the past that you ought to know about it and consider it, and it's because he used a baseball bat to break the windshield of her Mercedes back in 1985 and it's because he kicked her door down in 1993. You remember the Gretna Green incident. Remember the 911 call. It's because of a letter he wrote him--he wrote to Nicole rather around June the 6th talking about the IRS. It's because he stalked her, because he looked through her windows one night in April of 1992. They may say the Defendant is just looking through a window late at night. We say that's stalking. It's because of all those things and because all of these things alongside the physical evidence at the scene, the bloody shoeprints in his size, the blood drops at Bundy, the blood on his sock, the blood trail at Rockingham, it's because when you look at all of that, it all points to him.
And as Miss Clark alluded to earlier, the killing was personal, the way it was done. The way it was done, this is personal. Somebody had a score to settle. Who had a score to settle with Nicole? When you look at all of that, you look at the domestic violence, the manner of the killing, the physical evidence, the history of abuse and their relationship, the intimidation, the stalking, you look at it, it all points to him. It all points to him. Now, they may not think this evidence is important. But it was important to Nicole Brown. You heard Detective Mark Fuhrman testify about the 1985 incident. Let me say Fuhrman, Fuhrman, Fuhrman, Fuhrman. All right. I've said Fuhrman about 50 times. Let me let you know this. We're not hiding Fuhrman. He's too big, especially now, to hide. So hey, Fuhrman testified. Fuhrman described for you a 1985 domestic violence, domestic abuse incident or incident of violence or incident of abuse or disturbing--what do you call it--disturbing the peace incident, whatever you want to call it. But in 1985, Detective Fuhrman was not a detective. I just called him Detective, geez. Fuhrman was a patrol officer. He went to 360 north Rockingham in response to a call. And you recall the testimony. He saw Nicole sitting on the--on a Mercedes as I recall. The window was bashed out, the fenders were dented, there was a baseball bat nearby. The Defendant was walking along the driveway. Fuhrman had a conversation with the Defendant. Nicole was crying, her face was covered with her hair, she was holding her hands to her face. You remember that testimony. That was 10 years ago. 10 years ago, Fuhrman went to 360 north Rockingham in response to that call. That's 1985. 1994, Nicole's dead. When you look at the relationship between these two and you reflect back on the testimony from Christian Reichardt and you think about the 911 calls and Officer Edwards and you think about the day of the recital, you think about Denise Brown and what she had to say about the Defendant--remember that time at the red onion when he grabbed her by the crotch in front of a bar full of strangers and said, "This is where my babies come from. This is mine." Remember that testimony? This relationship between this man and Nicole, you know, it is like the time bomb ticking away. Just a matter of time, just a matter of time before something really bad happened. You know, you meet people in life and there are people with short fuses. You know, they just go off. And there are others with longer fuses, you know, takes them a little while longer to go off. And relationships are the same way sometimes, you know, especially a violent abusive relationship like this one. This thing was like a fuse, a bomb with a long fuse.
You see that fuse is lit in 1989. It was new years, new year's night. It was about 4:00 o'clock in the morning. And as I recall, we called to the witness stand a 911 operator. Her name was Sharon Gilbert. And that night--that morning, she received a call. The caller never identified herself. The line was left open. The call came in, the line was left open. The 911 operator stayed on the line and listened in.
I stood before you back in January. I said to you if you listen carefully to that tape--and you'll have the tape in the jury room. You put it in a tape recorder. When you listen to it, listen carefully because you can hear in the background the sound of someone being struck or slapped. And that's what the 911 operator heard and she told you on the witness stand that she heard that. She heard the sound, the noise of someone being beaten and she put that out on the radio. You recall that? She put it out on the radio that there was a woman being beaten at 360 north Rockingham. They may say that this isn't important evidence. I say they're wrong. There's physical abuse here, wife beating here, spousal abuse, spousal battery going on and this is an emergency situation. And Sharon Gilbert, the 911 operator, puts this call out code 2, high, get somebody to 360 north Rockingham fast. And they do. And they do. About 4:00 o'clock in the morning, Officer Edwards arrived at 360 north Rockingham. You recall Officer Edwards. He and his partner, they drove up Rockingham--I'm sorry--they drove up Ashford to pass the Ashford gate. They stopped at Rockingham where they saw the call box. He got out of his patrol car and he pushed the button at the call box, and a voice responded on the other side. It was the voice of the maid at that time, Michelle Aboudram. Officer Edwards identified himself, told Michelle that he was there in response to a 911 call and that he needed to speak to the person that made the call. Michelle said, "Hey, there's no problem here. Don't worry about it. Go on about your way." But Officer Edwards was persistent and he said, "No, no, no. I'm not leaving until I speak to the person that made that call." And as he spoke to Michelle Aboudram, someone ran out of the bushes in the dark. Do you recall that testimony? You heard it. It was here. Someone ran from the bushes in the dark. It was a woman, a woman with blond hair. She was wearing a bra. She was wearing a bra and pajamas or sweatpants. And that woman came running from the bushes in the darkness toward the gate where the call box was and she was yelling something. She was shouting something. Do you remember what she was shouting? Remember what the testimony was in this case? She was shouting, "He's going to kill me, he's going to kill me, he's going to kill me," and she shouted this four or five times as she arrived at that button and began pushing that button to get out of that gate, to get off that property, to get out of his house.
And as Officer Edwards stood there on the street side, on the Rockingham side of that gate, looking at her on the opposite side of the gate, what did he see? He saw that she was covered with mud. She was panicked. As Officer Edwards put it, she was hysterical. And she's hitting that button, hitting that button trying to open that gate to get out of there and she's yelling to him, "He's going to kill me." And what did Officer Edwards say? What did he say? "Who? Who is going to kill you?" He didn't see anybody running behind her. "Who? Who is going to kill you?" And what does she say? "O.J. O.J. O.J. Simpson." The gate finally opened, and she ran through the gate, she ran to Officer Edwards and she fell in his arms and collapsed and she said, "He is going to kill me," and she just kept repeating it. Well, at that point, Officer Edwards shined his flashlight on her face. Remember the testimony? When he shined that flashlight on her face, he saw that her eye was starting to blacken. The right side of her forehead was swollen. There was an imprint, some sort of a swollen mark on her right cheek--cheek did I say?
And he also said that she had a hand print--he saw a hand print, a hand print on the left side of her neck, on the left side of her throat. A hand print. Someone had grabbed this woman, his wife by the neck hard enough to leave an imprint around her neck, an imprint in the shape of his hand. Let me say this to you. We submit to you that the hand that left that imprint five years ago is the same hand that cut that same throat, that same neck on June 12th, 1994. It was the Defendant. It was the Defendant then, it's the Defendant now. And at that point, Nicole Brown made a--she said a series of things to Officer Edwards. Remember, keep in mind that she was hysterical, she was upset and she was panicked, and I'm sure that she was in fear because she must have been in fear because she was running through the night covered with mud in a bra and in her pajamas. And she said to Officer Edwards--she said something very important to Officer Edwards. She said, "You never do anything about him. You come out here, you've been out here eight times and you never do anything about him." That's what she told Officer Edwards that day. She said, "You've been out here eight times."
And I don't know. This is the evidence in the case. You're going to have to decide what that means. You can interpret what he says. You don't have to just take it literally. You decide what that means. It could mean a couple things. And after he said that and after he complained to Officer Edwards about the fact he was going to be arrested for beating his wife, he says to Officer Edwards, "This is a family matter. It is a family matter and nothing more." Well, wife beating is not just a family matter, is it? I mean, is this something we ought to take seriously? That's one thing about spousal abuse. You know, it happens and it always happens behind closed doors. And you know what they say; nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors. And we don't know everything that went on behind the gates of this man's estate at Rockingham, but we do know this; that whatever it was, whatever went on there had gone on eight times prior to this time, right? We know that. But he says it's a family matter. He minimizes what has happened. He doesn't care about this woman. He doesn't care about what he did to her.
It seems as if she was more concerned about her kids than she was doing anything to the Defendant. She didn't--she didn't care about documenting her own injuries at that time. She just wanted to be with her kids. But Edwards took her to West L.A. Station and he took some Polaroid photographs of her. Remember those photographs? Back in February I think it was, I think I marked those People's 4 and 5. I want you to go back for a moment with me eight months ago. Take a look at these injuries. Keep in mind, these are Polaroids and they're eight years old. Look at these injuries. Just look at what you can see, which isn't much at this point.
See the small cut to the right side from where we are on the right side of her upper lip? Look at the swollen left cheek. Look at the scar, the scratch, the bruise on the right side of her forehead. You see that? You've seen other pictures of her. You saw a picture of her when she was alive and smiling.
Look at that picture, the one you're looking at now. When you look at the one of her smiling, you look at those two pictures, you think it helps you discern just how badly bruised she was. At some point, he took her back home to be with her kids. The Defendant, well, they didn't catch him that night. And the next day, Nicole spoke to Ron Shipp and the next day as well, the Defendant spoke to Detective Farrell. Remember Detective Farrell, the detective investigating this case? He called Detective Farrell on the phone and apologized for the incident and expressed to Detective Farrell his dismay at the extent of her injuries. You remember that. He called Farrell and told him he didn't realize she had been injured that much. You didn't realize the full extent of her injuries at the time? I don't know. You tell me. That's a Polaroid. This is People's 29. She doesn't quite look like that in any other photograph you've seen in this case, does she?
She left. She filed for divorce, and he couldn't take it. You heard from Kathryn Bowe and her husband, Mr. Colby. Remember Mr. Colby? They lived at the corner on Gretna Green. In 1992, and I believe it was April 28th around 11:00 p.m. That night--it's here on the chart--they looked out the window and they saw a figure, a man, a man in the dark. In the darkness, they saw a man, and the man was out on the sidewalk and he was looking around and he was pacing a little bit up and down the sidewalk. He was pacing, walking up and down on the sidewalk. Know what it means when people pace. I do it a lot. But I don't know what this person was doing pacing out there on the sidewalk, but they thought this was unusual at 11:00 o'clock at night. Was it a Sunday night? I think it was a Sunday night.
And they watched this person and they watched this person, this man--by the way, this man was about six feet, six foot two, 200 pounds, African American. They watched this man in the dark in the night pacing up and down the sidewalk, and then they saw that man walk down the sidewalk, up the driveway and peer through the window of Nicole Brown's house on Gretna Green. Remember that testimony? He didn't handle that divorce--the filing of that divorce too well now, did he? Now, they may say, oh, well, he--you know, he looked through a window. Big deal. This is more than just looking through a window. This is stalking. When people come up to your window at 11:00 o'clock at night and they peek through it and they look through it and they watch you, there's something wrong here. There is something wrong here. This is obsessive conduct, ladies and gentlemen. This is obsessive conduct. This is stalking. And the Colby's saw this man, they saw him do that, they saw him walk back on the sidewalk, and they became so concerned about him that they telephoned the police. They called the police. And after they called the police, they continued to watch through this window to watch this man. They couldn't tell who the man was at that point in time, but after a few moments, they could. Who was that man? Him. It was the Defendant, O.J. Simpson, stalking Nicole. It's already April, April of 1992. Let me tell you something. By April of 1992, this woman knew she was going to die. She told Edwards that he was going to kill her. She told him that back in 1989, and apparently she believed that. You heard testimony from a D.A. Investigator in this case, my investigator from my office, Mike Stevens, and Mr. Stevens testified that in December of 1994 and with the permission of a Judge, he said that he went to a bank and he drilled a hole in a safe deposit box. You recall that testimony? And it was in that safe deposit box that he found a letter that we showed you a moment ago. Remember that, the letter where the Defendant says he doesn't know how he got so crazy? They found that letter and they found two other letters from the Defendant, from O.J. Simpson, to Nicole, attempting to get back with her, attempting to convince her to take him back, attempting to convince her that things would be better the next time. They found those letters in that safe deposit box and they found something else. They found a will. They found a will, this woman's will. It had been executed during 1990, which means she must have been about 30 years old. You know many people at the age of 30 who execute wills? But they find her will, his letters and something else. Do you have that?
There was some photographs, some photographs from back in 1989, because after he beat her in 1989, she called her sister, Denise, and Denise came over and she showed Denise the injuries this man inflicted on her and she asked Denise to take pictures of those injuries, and she put those pictures in that safe deposit box along with her will, along with her letters. Okay. She put those things there for a reason. I mean, they're just letters and they're just pictures. But if you are going to have a safe deposit box, you'd think that the things you put in that box are the things that you think are important. Now, I don't know how you want to interpret that conduct. You can interpret it any way you want. But let me suggest to you that you should interpret it this way. She is leaving you a road map to let you know who it is who will eventually kill her. She knew in 1989. She knew it and she wants you to know it. She knew who was going to do it to her, but she didn't know when. But whenever that event actually came, she wanted you to know who did it. Think about that. Just think about that. A will, photographs of her being beaten. Okay. You tell me.
There is one category entitled "The pathologically jealous." Remember? And O.J. Simpson said, "Well, maybe you know, maybe a little bit. Maybe I'm a little bit jealous, a little bit pathologically jealous." That is one of these things where you can't just be a little bit of. Either you are or you aren't. You know what I mean? You can't be somewhat jealous or partially jealous. Either you're jealous or you're not jealous. And this Defendant, he was jealous and he was out of control and he was consumed with passion for Nicole and he was obsessive because in April of 1992, he is peeking through windows. He has already beaten her. He has already beaten up her car. And he does some other things. In 1988 and 1989, I told you already that the testimony from Denise Brown was that he humiliated Nicole in public by grabbing her crotch in front of a bar full of strangers. And what else had he done? What else had he done? He's thrown Nicole and Denise out of his home one night. Remember that night, that night Denise said to him, "O.J., you take Nicole for granted," and he blew up. Remember, he blew up and he said, "Hey, I do everything for her."
And he became enraged back then. He picked Nicole up, he threw her against the wall, he threw her out of the house. He threw Denise out of the house and he threw all the clothes downstairs and out of the house too. Remember that testimony? This is the private side of him. This is the other side. This is the side of this man that you don't see in the commercial. He is out of control. He cannot handle it and the fuse is burning.
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