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The O.J. Simpson 'Trial of the Century' Explained in 10 Clicks

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

Jun. 18 2024, Published 11:15 a.m. ET

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The Murder Happened on June 12, 1994

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

On June 12, 1994, O.J. Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were found stabbed to death in the courtyard of her Brentwood, Calif., home. Ron dropped by the house to return the sunglasses her mother left when they dined at Mezzaluna hours before the murder.

O.J. was in Los Angeles at the time but took a late flight to Chicago that night. He became a suspect in the gruesome killings.

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O.J. Simpson Got Involved in a Bronco Freeway Chase

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

When the prosecutors ordered the late NFL player — who died from cancer in April — to surrender, O.J. fled in his white Ford Bronco with Al Cowlings. The running back eventually submitted after he was chased through the Southern California freeways.

O.J. Simpson Pleaded Not Guilty

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

O.J. pleaded "100 percent not guilty" to the double murder charge on July 22, 1994. The pre-trial preparations started afterward.

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Prosecutors Sought Life Without Parole for O.J. Simpson

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

Instead of the death penalty, the prosecutors decided to seek life without the possibility of parole. Legal experts explained at the time that the death penalty would be difficult to pursue in domestic homicide cases.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti released a statement confirming the waiving of the possible death penalty without giving the reason for the decision. Meanwhile, Robert Pugsley, a then-professor at Southwestern University School of Law, added that eliminating it gave the case a "smoother road."

"Their chances are better without the specter of the death penalty hanging over the jury," said the professor.

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Robert Kardashian Sr. Became a Member of O.J. Simpson's Dream Team

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

As they prepared for the trial, O.J. created his dream team of defense attorneys, which included Kardashian patriarch Robert Kardashian Sr. The group also had Johnnie Cochran, Robert Shapiro and F. Lee Bailey.

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Several Hollywood Stars Were in the Trial

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

Kato Kaelin, who became a celebrity due to the trial, became a witness for the prosecution. The Weird Bizarre and Psychotic host was in a guest house of Nicole's property when the murders took place.

Meanwhile, Kris Jenner — Nicole's longtime friend — has been open about the case over the years. She also revealed she was supposed to have lunch with Nicole the day the latter's body was found.

In addition, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians alum reportedly had no idea her friend was a victim of domestic violence until the trial began.

"I saw all the pictures and the police reports and I heard tapes of Nicole calling 911 [after she was abused by O.J.]," said the momager. "That was stuff I didn't know anything about. I beat myself up because I felt like I wasn’t paying attention. Like, how did I miss this? But that's typical in an abusive relationship — that the woman doesn't speak out about how she's being treated."

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O.J. Simpson Was Acquitted

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

After the lengthy murder trial, Judge Lance Ito’s clerk, Dierdre Robertson, read the two-word verdict: "Not guilty."

"My first obligation is to my young children, who will be raised the way that Nicole and I had always planned. ... But when things have settled a bit, I will pursue as my primary goal in life the killer or killers who slaughtered Nicole and Mr. Goldman. They are out there somewhere. Whatever it takes to identify them and bring them in, I will provide somehow," O.J.'s older son, Jason, read a statement from the patriarch.

Photos of smiling O.J. reacting to the verdict became the front page of newspapers across the globe after the trial ended.

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A Civil Trial Started

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

In October 1996, Nicole and Ron's families launched a civil trial against O.J. for the wrongful deaths. In its fifth month, the 12-person jury found the football player liable for the deaths.

"The jury decision of last Tuesday was the only decision important to us, to find the killer of my son and Nicole," Fred Goldman said. "The money is not an issue. It never has been. It’s holding the man who killed my son and Nicole responsible."

Ron's parents received $8.5 million in compensatory damages. The jury also demanded O.J. to pay $25 million in punitive damages to the victims' families.

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O.J. Simpson Was Arrested in Las Vegas

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

O.J. and his associates were accused of stealing his own sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas hotel and casino room.

Following the arrest, O.J. reportedly claimed he did not commit any crimes as he was only getting back the "stolen stuff" he owned. Still, he was charged with several felony counts, including armed robbery.

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He Was Found Guilty for a Different Crime

everything to know about the oj simpson trial
Source: MEGA

In 2008, O.J. was convicted of 12 charges and was sentenced to prison after the Las Vegas robbery.

"That was not a, 'Oh, just give me my stuff back, I want my stuff.' That was, 'Nobody leave the room.' That was actually a very violent event. ... At least one gun was drawn," Judge Jackie Glass said. "The potential for harm to occur in that room was tremendous. When you take a gun with you and you take men with you, to show, in a show of force, that's not just a, 'Hey, give me my stuff back.'"

After the verdict, O.J. apologized for his actions and claimed he did not know it was illegal.

He was granted parole in 2017 and officially became a free man on October 1, 2017.

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