20 Years Later: Key Moments from the O.J. Simpson Trial

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 1/13/2015, 11:03 a.m.
It was called the trial of the century and the first true reality show. O.J. Simpson went on trial for ...
In 1995, O.J. Simpson went on trial for the killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, in what became a wall-to-wall televised proceeding.

By Chris Boyette

CNN

(CNN) -- It was called the trial of the century and the first true reality show.

O.J. Simpson went on trial for the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman 20 years ago, in what would become a wall-to-wall televised proceeding.

The heavy coverage started even before the trial began. Simpson's infamous slow-speed chase days after the slayings played out on TV screens across the country, and the original grand jury was dismissed due to excessive media coverage.

Here are six unforgettable moments that helped shape the trial.

1. A juror is caught on camera, but Judge Ito says cameras can stay

On the first day of the Simpson trial, and as defense attorney Johnnie Cochran prepared to delivered his opening statement, a camera in the courtroom captured the face of a juror.

The juror was on camera for less than a second, but Judge Lance Ito had previously assured jurors that they would not be photographed or shown to the public. Ito delayed the trial, meaning the defense could not immediately follow the prosecution's opening statement.

After a hearing, Ito allowed cameras to stay in the courtroom.

2. Denise Brown testifies

Nicole Brown Simpson's older sister, Denise Brown, testified that her sister was an abused wife. In February 1995, she said Simpson grabbed Nicole's crotch one night in a bar in full view of friends and strangers and proclaimed, in part, "This is mine."

Brown also recounted an incident at the Simpson residence in which an allegedly enraged O.J. Simpson threw Nicole against a wall, destroyed some items from the house and threw both sisters out.

After Brown completed her emotional testimony, defense attorney Robert Shapiro countered with a completely different image of Simpson as a warm family man, pointing to video of Simpson showing affection with the Brown family just hours before the slayings.

3. Marcia Clark asks Ito to declare 'Kato' Kaelin a hostile witness

O.J. Simpson's former houseguest Brian "Kato" Kaelin took the witness stand and displayed the flamboyant style that had made him a minor celebrity in the case. His version of events seemed to contradict Simpson's story, and he testified that he could not account for Simpson's whereabouts during the hours the prosecution said the killings took place. His sarcastic and evasive testimony seemed to frustrate Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark.

On March 21, Kaelin sparked laughter in the courtroom when Clark asked him if he was nervous. He uttered, "Feeling great." He then said he was "a little" nervous, CourtTV reported at the time. When Clark implied that Kaelin moved into Simpson's guest house to promote his own acting career, Kaelin told her, "I don't think we were going for the same parts." Fed up, Clark had him declared a hostile witness, allowing her to ask him leading questions usually saved for cross-examination.

4. Detective Fuhrman pleads the 5th -- again and again and again

Former Los Angeles police Detective Mark Fuhrman invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions from defense attorney Gerald Uelmen regarding whether the testimony he gave at the preliminary hearing was completely truthful or whether he had ever falsified a police report.