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September 14, 1995 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-14

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 14, 1995

Ito fines prosecution, allows DNA evidence

Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - Scrambling to
conclude their rebuttal case, prosecu-
tors in the murder trial of0.J. Simpson
dropped plans yesterday to introduce
evidence about Simpson's failure to
surrender to police, lost a battle to tell
the jury that fibers on a bloody glove
probably. came from a Ford Bronco
such as Simpson's and got fined for
showing up to court late.
They won the right to introduce new
DNA evidence,-however, and presented
it to the jury through a witness who said
that bloodstains in Simpson's car con-
tained genetic markers matching those
of the defendant and murder victim
Ronald Goldman.
The witness, state Department ofJus-
tice analyst Gary Sims, testified that he
combined DNA from three bloodstains
found on the console of Simpson's Ford
Bronco. Once he had done that, there
was enough DNA to conduct an RFLP
test, a very precise analysis that yielded
the results suggesting a mixture of the
blood of the defendant and a victim
with whom Simpson had no known
"The finding of that pattern on the
console," Sims said, "is consistent with
the mixture and the banding pattern of
the defendant, Mr. Simpson, and also
the contribution of Mr. Goldman."
Under cross-examination, Sims ac-
knowledged that he could not account
fbr the handling of the car during the
months after police towed it from
Simpson's home to a police garage.
During that period, a number of un-
authorized people entered the vehicle,
and Simpson's lawyers have suggested
that they could have compromised any
evidence later taken from it.
Sims' testimony was part of yet an-
other tumultuous day in the Simpson
case, which has grown more frantic as it
has wound toward conclusion.
Prosecutors danced on the edge of a
contempt-of-court charge, and Los
Angeles County District Attorney Gil
Garcetti, in a furious denunciation of
the judge, threatened to appeal the fine
that Ito imposed against them.
Defense attorneys, meanwhile, filed.
an appeal of Ito's decision not to strike
selected portions of former Detective
Mark Fuhrman's testimony, and pressed
their efforts to secure the testimony of
an FBI agent who has accused a col-

Study: Being plump is bad for health
BOSTON - Being even a little bit plump is bad for your health, a major new
study of American women found.
Health experts have long recognized the hazards of true obesity, but the new
research from Harvard Medical School suggests that even love handles are a bad
thing. Indeed, within reason, it appears that thinner's always better.
"It's a fairly simple message," said Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, who directed the
study. "Even mild to moderate overweight is associated with a substantial risk of
premature death."
Federal weight guidelines, which have been criticized as too liberal, say women
over age 35 who are 5-foot-5 can safely weigh between 126 and 162 pounds. But
the new research suggests that anything over 119 is too much.
In fact, at middle age, the average American woman - 5-foot-5, between 150
and 160 pounds - runs a 30 percent higher risk of death than that of someone her
height who weighs less than 120, Manson and her colleagues conclude.
The lowest death rate is among women who are at least 15 percent below the

Defense attorney Robert Blasler (right) asks questions of glove expert Richard Rubin during the O.J. Simpson trial.

league of pressuring him to "bias my
interpretation" of evidence in another
Defense lawyers want that agent,
Frederic Whitehurst, to testify in the
Simpson case because the agent he ac-
cused is Roger Martz, an analyst called
by the defense during the Simpson trial
but whose account regarding scientific
tests favored prosecutors. Yesterday,
prosecutors said they would fight the
effort to call Whitehurst, arguing that
his testimony is irrelevant to Simpson's
guilt or innocence.
Simpson, 47, has pleaded not guilty
to the June 12, 1995 slayings of
Goldman, 25, and Simpson's ex-wife,
Nicole Brown Simpson, 35.
Mindful ofthe jury's restlessness, Ito
had scheduled an early morning session
to hear legal arguments on the admissi-
bility of the evidence relating to
Simpson's actions on June 17, the day
he was scheduled to surrender to police,
but ended up in a widely televised low-
speed freeway pursuit instead.
To avoid delaying further testimony
in the trial, Ito directed attorneys for
both sides to be in his courtroom at 8:30
a.m. to argue the issue.

Defense lawyers showed up as sched-
uled, but prosecutors did not, and it was
a testy Ito who demanded an explana-
tion from Clark. She apologized and
said that a member of the government
team had an emergency - prosecutors
later acknowledged that the deputy dis-
trict attorney, who was not named, had
merely overslept. Ito fined the district
attorney's office $250 for failing to
appear or to notify him.
"Excuse me, Your Honor," Clark re-
sponded with obvious pique. "May I
remind the court that Mr. Shapiro kept
the court waiting on the stand - and
suffered no sanction."
Ito glowered back and said: "Thank
you. The sanction will be $1,000."
Although prosecutors have generally
prevailed in arguments before Ito, that
sanction enraged members of the dis-
trict attorney's office, including
"What thejudge did today was outra-
geous," Garcetti said during a news
conference, leveling an extraordinary
blast at Ito. "It was vindictive, it was
petty, it was uncalled for. I've told my
people I do not want them to pay that
fine. This office will not pay this fine."

Garcetti visited Ito's courtroom later
that afternoon. As he left, he said he had
paid the unexpected visit to his deputies
because there were a "a couple of things
I needed to get clear with Marcia and
The district attorney declined to de-
scribe the substance of their conversa-
tion, but left little doubt the topic was
Ito's sanction.
"I am sick and tired," he said, "of this
judge not treating the prosecution fairly.
The defense gets away with murder; we
get hit. This is not about just one thing.
But in this instance there just isn't any
legal basis for what he did to Marcia.
He overstepped all legal grounds when
he increased his sanction without warn-
ing, simply because she stood up."
Ito later agreed to back off the $1,000
fine, however, and went back to to the
original $250 fine.
. Before testimony began yesterday,
Ito rejected the latest prosecution effort
to tell the jury that fibers from a glove
found at Simpson's Rockingham estate
matched samples taken from Simpson's
car and that those fibers only were used
in an extremely small number of ve-

average weight for people their height,l
Red Cross tones
down AIDS program
NEW YORK - The American Red
Cross is seeking to tone down the con-
tent of its AIDS-prevention program at
the behest of its president, Elizabeth
Dole, The New York Times reported.
Although internal Red 'Cross docu-
ments did not suggest any political
motivation, some Red Cross officials
told the Times the move by the
organization's board of governors was
reflecting Mrs. Dole's desires at a time
when her husband was trying to appeal
to conservatives.
Her husband, Senate Majority Leader
Bob Dole, has sought to emphasize his
conservative credentials in his quest for
the Republican presidential nomination.
"It is unconscionable," Shana Ross,
the HIV-AIDS commissioner for the
Red Cross' Houston chapter, was quoted
in yesterday's Times. "I have to take
into account that this is because of who
our president is, who her husband is and
the fact that he's involved in a cam-
paign now for the presidency, and he is
seemingly losing ground to opponents
who are more conservative than he is."
A spokesman for the Dole campaign,
Nelson Warfield, said Mrs. Dole's work

Manson said.

at the Red Cross was "strictly separate"
from the campaign.
The organization's chairman,
Norman Augustine, said the board in-
tervened at Mrs. Dole's request be-
cause she has "some strongly held per-
sonal views." Red Cross spokesman
Roy Clason, said Mrs. Dole was not
available for comment.
Consumer prices
rose .1% last month
WASHINGTON - Big declines in
the cost of gasoline and airline tickets
held consumer price inflation to a tiny
0.1 percent last month while the
economy showed fresh signs ofperking
The good news on inflation, disclosed
in the Labor Department's Consumer
Price report, came yesterday as the Fed-
eral Reserve released its latest national
survey of economic conditions.
The Fed survey, compiled from re-
ports from the Fed's 12 regional banks,
said construction activity was strength-
ening in many parts of the country. The
Chicago and St. Louis districts noted
strong home sales and Cleveland, At-
lanta and San Francisco reported a re-
bound in nonresidential construction.

_ A'w-

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Paintings reported stolen
in Calif:never left Italy

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man collected $410,000 from his insur-
ance company after reporting two Ital-
ian Renaissance paintings stolen from
the bedroom f his California ranch
house. Butrit turns out the artworks had
never left the Vatican.
About the only proof of ownership
that Lucio Ambroselli had offered when
he insured the works three weeks ear-
lier were two amateurish snapshots of
the paintings hanging in the Vatican
Art Museum, investigators said.
Now State Farm Fire and Casualty
Co. wants its money back and
Ambroselli has been charged with fraud.
Ambroselli, 57, was arrested last
week after more than three years of
investigation by the FBI and the Italian
Arma de Carabinieri art theft unit.

The retired Alitalia employee is ac-
cused of swindling State Farm by claim-
ing that the paintings, an Iranian silk
rug, a Russian icon and a jade Buddha
were stolen in 1992. Police found the
rug, icon and statue wrapped in sheets
stuffed into a duffel bag when they
searched his house on Friday.
"Can you imagine State Farm com-
ing to your house and insuring your
house without even having an appraiser
look at it?" said art professor Phil
Hitchcock of California State Univer-
sity at Sacramento. "They should have
never insured those."
The insurance agent who visited
Ambroselli's house in a gated commu-
nity in Loomis, 20 miles east of Sacra-
mento, was shown two sealed wooden

Belarussians shoot
down balloonists; 2
Americans killed
MINSK, Belarus- The Belarussian
military shot down a helium balloon
during an international race, killing its
two American pilots, Belarus and U.S.
officials said yesterday.
The Clinton administration com-
plained that it wasn't notified for a full
Belarussian authorities said the
Americans, flying close to an air base
and a missile site Tuesday near the
Polish border, didn't respond to a radio
call or warning shots fired by a military
The names of the two Americans
were withheld pending notification of
their relatives.
The helium balloon was hit near the
village of Beryioza, but it wasn't imme-
diately clear how the craft was downed,
according to the U.S. Embassy in Minsk.
The wreckage and the bodies were found
several hours later in a wooded area, the
Russian news agency ITAR-Tass said.
A second American balloon was
forced to land, but its two-man crew
was unharmed, said Nicholas Burns, a
State Department spokesman in Wash-
"This is so senseless. We are not
talking about people on a spy mission
here," said Ruth Ludwig, editor of Bal-

looning, the journal of the Balloon Fed-
eration of America. "It's the most be-
nign thing people could do, float around
the sky."~
One team of Americans - Richard
Abruzzo and Jacob Traub - landed in
Gerny this week. Three other two-
member American teams are compet-
ing, Ludwig said by telephone from
Pope Mills, Vt.
Irish leaders work to
legalize divorce
DUBLIN, Ireland - The govern-
ment began a new campaign yesterday
to legalize divorce in this mostly Catho-
lic country, despite strong opposition
from church leaders and traditionalists
who helped sink the proposal nearly a
decade ago.
The government called the existing
constitutional ban on divorce grossly
unfair to the estimated 75,000 people
stuck in failed marriages.
Yet the proposed amendment also
sets strict conditions on divorce to pre-
vent Ireland from developing what For-
eign Minister Dick Spring called "a
quickie divorce culture."
The Family Law (Divorce) Bill stipu-
lates that a divorcing couple must have
lived apart for at least four years and
proved that "there is no reasonable pros-
pect of a reconciliation."
- From Daily wire services




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