Bryant’s attorneys want O.J. defense expert

Randy Wyrick

Kobe Bryant’s attorneys want the judge to allow an expert witness from the O.J. Simpson case to dissect the crime scene investigation leading to Bryant’s arrest on rape charges.Prosecutors asked state District Judge Terry Ruckriegle to bar any testimony from defense experts on crime scene investigations, saying it would be irrelevant and misleading.Defense attorneys want to call Beth Seeman, an Aspen-area crime investigator, and John Ragle, who testified in 1995 that Los Angeles police ignored proper procedures for collecting evidence from where Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ronald Goldman were killed.Defense attorneys Pamela Mackey and Harold Haddon have said the investigation, and almost everything that followed it, suggests bias against their client.Defense attorney Hal Haddon had blistering criticism of the investigation performed by Eagle County sheriff’s Detectives Doug Winters and Dan Loya, calling it “woeful” and incomplete.District attorney’s office spokeswoman Krista Flannigan has said prosecutors are barred from responding to language in defense motions, except through filing motions of their own.”The failure to conduct the most ‘regular’ police procedure – investigation of a crime scene and collection of physical evidence – suggests both a bias against Mr. Bryant and a willful or reckless unwillingness to consider the possibility that Mr. Bryant committed no crime and that the accuser was lying about the sexual encounter for ulterior motives,” Haddon wrote in the motion made public Monday.Haddon said crime scene investigators should have taken more photos, collected the chair that was the site of the alleged assault, examined carpet near the chair and collected material in waste baskets.

“For example, the accuser’s story that she had ‘cried’ during the course of the sexual encounter could have been corroborated, or discredited, based on the tears or mucus on the furniture, carpet, sink or on tissue paper tossed into the wastebasket,” Haddon wrote. “Loya and Winters looked for none of these items.”Haddon cited case law that suggested the failure of police to do adequate work was enough to suggest reasonable doubt in the case against Bryant.During an exchange between Mackey and Winters in last fall’s preliminary hearing, Mackey asked Winters whether he had sought a search warrant for “any substances that you might be able to find.”Winters answered that he did not, saying that because the incident occurred in a hotel, he wasn’t sure if the room had been cleaned, and that he didn’t think of it at the time.Since the day the incident became public early last July, Mackey has accused the investigation of being biased, and that Bryant would be exonerated.Bryant, 25, has pleaded not guilty to raping a 19-year-old woman at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, where she worked last summer. He says the two had consensual sex. Bryant faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted of felony sexual assault.The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday. Bryant is expected to attend, then return to Los Angeles for a playoff game against Minnesota.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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