- Rosa Lopez (witness)
Rosa López was a housekeeper from
El Salvadorand a witness in the O.J. Simpsonmurder trial.
The defense originally hoped that López' testimony would provide an
alibibecause she had reported having seen Simpson's Ford Broncoparked outside his estate in Rockinghamaround the approximate time of the murders (around 10:15 pm).
Asserting that she wanted to return her native
El Salvadorbecause of death threats, the defense successfully petitioned to record her testimony on videotape during the prosecution's phase of the trial. She testified on February 27, 1995. However, during the actual testimony and cross-examination by Christopher Dardenthe value of her testimony became less clear as she could not provide a definite time at which she saw the Bronco. The prosecution also discovered there were many discrepancies between her first and second interviews. In her first interview she made no reference to seeing the Bronco ("mira El Bronco") parked outside his estate at the time of the murder. Initially, she also claimed that another housekeeper, Sylvia Guerra, could corroborate her testimony. References to that housekepper and corroboration were dropped in the last interview and testimony before the court. Sylvia Guerra maintains that Rosa was lying and that Rosa had told her that each of them would be paid $5,000 for their testimony. Guerra also says that she was not at the house with Rosa that night. Additionally, on Friday Rosa Lopez had told the court that she had made reservations to return to El Salvador that weekend. On cross-examination by Darden she admitted that in fact she had not made any such reservations.
In March, judge
Lance Itosanctioned and fined Simpson lawyers Johnnie L. Cochranand Carl Douglas $950 each for failing to provide the defense with an audio recording of an interview with López made by an investigator hired by Simpson. Judge Ito also informed them that if they chose to play the Lopez tape the jury would be instructed that the defense violated the law.
Ultimately, the defense decided not to present her testimony to the jury despite many references in opening statements and the large interruption to the trial. Soon after her testimony, López returned to her native country.
She was legally represented by
Carl E. Jones.
López was from a family of ten children. At nine, she stopped school and later started her small family. She had seven children, but only two survived to move to
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