Discovery of knife unlikely to cause new OJ Simpson trial
POLICE in Los Angeles have confirmed they are carrying out DNA tests on a knife found in the perimeter of the home once owned by OJ Simpson.
However, police said that even if the weapon proved to be new evidence related to one of the most notorious killings in recent US crime history, it is unlikely Mr Simpson could be charged again because he has already been aquitted of murder.
In a dramatic announcement that threw back into the headlines a story that dates back two decades, TMZ, said that a construction worker found a folding buck knife buried on the edge of the former Simpson estate when the house was demolished years ago. He then passed it on to a former Los Angeles detective.
In January, the officer - who is now retired - told a friend in the LAPD's robbery homicide division about the knife. Supervisors then retrieved the weapon.
Norma Eisenman, a spokesman for the LAPD, told The Independent: "We are confirming that conducting tests on a knife that was recovered."
Simpson, a former American football star, was tried on two counts of murder after the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and waiter Ronald Lyle Goldman, in June 1994. Simpson was acquitted after a trial that lasted more than eight months. He was subsequently found liable in a civil case and ordered to pay $25m in compensation.
No murder weapon was ever found or presented to the jury that found the actor and athlete not guilty.
At a press conference on Friday, Capt Andrew Neiman said that forensic tests were being conducted on the weapon. He said he was unsure at this point whether the knife was genuine or if the story was bogus. "We have to determine whether it's evidence or not," he said. Mr Neiman said that the case of Ms Simpson's murder and that of her boyfriend remained "open".
Asked if Mr Simpson could be charged over the killing if the weapon provided fresh evidence, he said: "I'm not a legal expert but my understanding is that under the double jeopardy would be in play here. We would not charge Mr Simpson because he has been acquitted."
In September 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with numerous offences, including armed robbery and kidnapping. In 2008, he was found guilty and sentenced to 33 years imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole.
The saga of Simpson's case has recently received fresh attention after a television series, American Crime Story,
The first season, subtitled The People v. OJ Simpson, presented a reconstruction of the trial, based on Jeffrey Toobin's book The Run of His Life: The People v. OJ Simpson.