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because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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NV. vs Simpson – Filters, Tapes and Boring Jobs

Posted by thedarwinexception on September 17, 2008



Day Three of Testimony in NV vs. OJ. Damn, today was dramatic and boring all at the same time, if that’s possible. 

OJ and Galanter watch "The Dancing Glass's" on YouTube

First off we had the continuation of Marr’s testimony about how he authenticated (or couldn’t authenticate) the digital and audio recordings made by Tom Riccio and McClinton. 

Marr went through a long description of exactly what it is he does – which only served to let the jury know that the only thing more boring ass than this guy’s job was listening to him describe it. He says he has to listen to each tape “critically” and determine what kind of filtering this particular tape might need, and what kind of special filter to use on it. It might be something to cut down on the reverberation, depending on what kind of room the recording was done in, or maybe the background noise if the recording was made in a restaurant or other place with ambient sounds. Or maybe it’s just a band pass filter – which is applied to cut down on the highest and lowest frequencies of a recording – kind of like a telephone will do naturally. 

Once he determines what kind of filter to apply, he does that and sees if it actually works to enhance the tape quality. And it was kind of ironic, in an Alanis Morrisette way, that court was delayed today so that the judge and court clerks could enhance the audio of this guy’s video deposition. 

So he identifies the discs of the recordings as “true and accurate copies” of the discs he made, and reports that there were a couple of the files he could do nothing for, but that he did, indeed, work his magic on the others, and that he did not compromise the integrity of any of the tapes in any way when he enhanced them. 

The bombshell in the testimony came when he actually admitted to the State that no, he couldn’t really say for sure that the recordings weren’t tampered with. This gave the defense all they needed to hear to object to the admissibility of the tapes. 

So, of course, then we had Mr. Bryson, one of the defense attorneys for Mr. Stewart on cross examination just throwing everything and anything he could at the wall and seeing what would stick. Bryson challenged everything from the guy’s credentials to what size shoe he wore. He argued integrity of the tape, authenticity of the tape, chain of custody of the tape, just anything and everything for hour after hour. 

And in the end, did it make any difference? No, of course it made no difference, because you *know* these tapes are coming in as evidence, right? There’s no way they aren’t. 

So the judge made a compromise deal – she lets the tapes in and she lets the transcripts of the tapes in only as “aides” not “evidence”, which is really no big yank, anyway, because when are the transcripts of tapes ever really “evidence” anyway? Transcription is always subject to personal interpretation and hearing – that ain’t evidence. The judge will always tell a jury “If the transcript says something different than the way you interpret it from the tape – the tape is the best evidence.” So having the transcripts as “aides” isn’t such a loss. 

Believe it or not, this crap took damned near all morning – I told you that buffoon Bryson argued everything under the sun. Un fucking real. 

The next witness up is Detective Steven “Andy” Caldwell – who was a member of the robbery division of the Las Vegas Metro Police. He describes how he became involved in the case when he got a call relaying that there had been a robbery at the Palace Station Hotel involving OJ Simpson. Caldwell thought that this couldn’t surely be for real, and he went to the Palace Station to see if OJ Simpson was on the property. He said that normally when Hotels in the area have a celebrity staying at their facility that the front desk knows about it, and when he inquired at the Palace Station and they said “No, OJ isn’t a guest” that he was right, and that it couldn’t be that OJ was involved. 

They then went to the security room at the Palace Station, where the alleged victims were already gathered to see what they had to say. Caldwell says that initially Beardsley and Fromong were loud, upset and talking over each other so he had his partner take Beardsley out of the room and he stayed to interview Fromong. Caldwell said the story they were telling just didn’t make sense, so he went to interview Tom Riccio – who seemed to be the ringleader in all this. Caldwell says that Riccio was cooperative and honest and eventually frustrated because he kept trying to tell the story “from the beginning” and fill the detective in on all the background details and Caldwell really only wanted to know what happened that night. 

After hearing the story from the victims and from Riccio Caldwell was convinced that a crime had been committed, and he says on the stand that if it had been anyone else besides OJ Simpson who was the interested party, they would have arrested him that night, but that since it was OJ Simpson, they wanted to gather more information, get the surveillance video from the hotel, interview Mr. Simpson and monitor his movements. 

At this juncture, the Prosecution shows Caldwell the videos of the people involved from both the Palms and Palace Station hotels. The detective identifies the people, the vehicles and the movements that he has determined, through his investigation, everyone took that night. 

The detective also says that at the Palms Hotel, after the items had been taken from Riccio’s room by OJ and his co-horts, that a large white SUV pulled up and some of the goods were transferred to that vehicle. Despite a police investigation, that SUV or it’s driver have never been located.

The detective then relays the rather ludicrous tale of how that weekend one of the detectives in his unit heard on TV a tape of the entire incident the unit was investigating. From the context of the video they knew that Tom Riccio had to be the one who made the recording, and they called him and asked “Hey! What the fuck??”  Riccio put them in contact with his “business partner” and they were able to obtain the original recorder. But, of course, not before making a deal of immunity with Riccio. 

The robbery unit also got an anonymous tip 2 days after the incident saying that one of the “gunmen” involved, one Walter Alexander,  was scheduled to leave town on an airplane the next day. The detectives very cleverly cancelled Mr. Alexander’s ticket, ensuring that he would have to go to the desk to inquire about the cancellation. That’s where he was taken into custody, and where a search warrant was served on his luggage. 

Police found the same suit as seen on Mr. Alexander in the video surveillance cameras from the Hotels, and also found the baseball cap and sunglasses belonging to the victims that had been taken along with the other goods. When confronted with this evidence, Mr. Alexander cooperated with police and gave them the addresses of both Mr. Stewart and Mr. McClinton. Warrants were then served on these addresses, which led to the recovery of weapons and more stolen property. 

Caldwell then uses a large visual aide with a timeline reconstructed from his investigation and the video and audio recordings, as well as phone records of the parties. He takes the jury through the pool party at the Palms, and lists out who was there to participate ion the planning of the incident, through the victims arriving at the hotel, Mr Simpson and company arriving then departing from the Palms and then the Palace Station Hotel, and finally the unloading of the property into several vehicles, including the unidentified white SUV at the Palms. 

Detective Caldwell then takes the jury through the mechanics of how he and his partner transcribed the audio tapes from both Riccio and McClinton’s recorders. He tells them that he assigned names to each of the voices simply through identifying them as the people he had spoken with several times each at that point. He says the vast majority of the tapes involved Riccio and Simpson, with other people coming in and out and sometimes being named as they were introduced to each other. He says that in the transcripts if he was not certain who was speaking at a particular point that he simply inserted a question mark. 

Attorney Bryson AKA "That Guy That Can't Shut Up"

Bryson – the contentious lawyer of Mr. Stewart – gets up to cross examine the Detective and you know that this is going to be long and drawn out – and it is. Bryson challenges everything from the Detective’s experience to his ability to identify the voices on the tape to whether or not he ‘approved” of Riccio’s immunity deal. It all goes downhill, with the detective holding his own against the lawyer. There really is nothing to challenge the detective on effectively besides the transcriptions of the tape, and even that doesn’t go well for the defense. 

Yale Galanter then crosses for defendant Simpson, but almost immediately has sidebar questions for the judge, which much have had some merit, as she calls court for the day.

And so day three ends.

To Sum Up: If you are going to record something, keep background noises and reverberance to a minimum unless you have good filters; If you are a celebrity you may not get arrested right away – but they might be following you; If you drive a white SUV in Las Vegas – they may *still* be following you.


Oh – if you get bored below is a link to a transcript of the “incident” from Riccio’s recording 





12 Responses to “NV. vs Simpson – Filters, Tapes and Boring Jobs”

  1. your bro said

    nobody has a comment on this stuff?!? you should do more of the funnty stuff i guess. thats where you shine. personally, i already know how smart you are with all this kind of stuff, but your humor is even better. oh yeah, is it me or is this casey anthony thing just to much media attention already or not? nancy grace should be renamed “the anthony family jewels”! i mean, i want them to find little caylee, but do a breaking news story when they do, i don’t need to know everything casey did today. unless she finally tells them where the hell she is, then i want to see that.

  2. mclayton said

    Thanks again Kim, you deserve some huge heavenly reward for you patience with this crap. Not sure if I can handle watching this Bryson dude again. I think it was on In Sessions that he was in prison for manslaughter, was found to have been convicted on some trumped-up charge, got his law degree and is out to change the world. Maybe he could be convicted of juryslaughter–boring the jury to death. Judge Jackie may have to borrow that skillet that was used on the other judge and bounce it off his head a time or two before this is over. If I check in one day and find that you just post “No, No, No, can’t handle this shit anymore” I will understand.

  3. Kay said

    Kim, you say it all when you write in such great detail. After reading your expository writings, I feel like I have been in the court room. Thank you for covering what is happening with this O.J. trial. I appreciate your other writings also….but the trail case coverage is my favorite.

  4. Gail said

    Kim it was a long long boring day, congrats on being able to stay awake! Thanks for filling me in places where I dozed off! 😉

  5. Cathy said

    I don’t even want to start watching this trial—I didn’t get work done when watching Spector I so I look to you for accurate information and summaries, Kim. And you do not disappoint …
    Sure sounds like mouthpiece Bryson is this trial’s version of Spector’s Chris Plourd. Goes on and on and on. Maybe some Plourdicil (TM) is in order for trial watchers to stay awake?
    Keep up the great commentary Kim. Some of us are depending on you *wink*

  6. September said

    Many thanks for your comprehensive coverage. I appreciate all your posts. I check in everyday and really miss you on the days you don’t post.

    Hope you and Paul are well.


  7. Caroline said

    Once again, thanks for keeping us updated on this crucial/boring/throw-them-all-away-and-the-keys-too trial.

    I have a brand new puppy! Scout! She takes precedent over OJ anyday! HOPEFULLY…she will be housetrained by the time Spector II roles out.

    I hope you are taking care of yourself, you are much more important than this shithead’s trial.

  8. Charles said

    You go OJ

  9. Kim (Canada) said

    You’re something else –
    Thank you for all that!
    And thanks even more for the sarcastic chuckle at the end!
    I loved it – And it really made up for what sounds like a real long, drawn out, dreary day in that courtroom.
    I don’t know how you do it – But I sure am glad that you do!
    Thanks again, Kim!!

    Fonzie :`)

  10. Kim (Canada) said

    Hey Kim –

    Any idea about what this mystery woman episode is about?
    Towards the end of this article, there’s mention of a woman who was escorted out of the trial room after trying to approach and interact with the defense lawyer/team.
    Apparently she tried to hug good ol’ Dominick Dunne prior to that too!
    Some people eh!

    Fonz-eh!! :`)

  11. Sandy said

    Late on this, but another thanks. You really are keeping us going everyday, answer to hopes.

    Does anyone think a guy like Bryson can be a detriment to a jury’s consideration of “anything” that comes out of his mouth? It would be more than difficult to keep my ongoing attention and even care what he has to say if I had to listen to him. Every witness or evidence he tries to beat up just makes me want to believe the prosecution a teeny bit more.

    Great judge, she is worth watching.

  12. Caroline said

    Well, I don’t know about the rest of you but if I was in a hotel room trying to sell a bunch of OJ “memorablia”, and the man himself showed up waving a gun claiming it was all stolen from him, I’d help him load up his car or “SUV’ or whatever…

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