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Trial witness 'Kato' Kaelin now says O.J. Simpson was guilty of killings

September 20th, 2012 3:05 pm by Richard Winton,Los Angeles Times (MCT)

Trial witness 'Kato' Kaelin now says O.J. Simpson was guilty of killings

In this Dec. 5, 2008, file photo, O.J. Simpson appears in court during his sentencing hearing in Las Vegas. The Nevada Supreme Court says prosecutors from the district attorney's office in Las Vegas who handled Simpson's conviction on armed robbery and ki

LOS ANGELES — O.J. Simpson killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Lyle Goldman, says one of the more prominent witnesses in the criminal trial in which the former football legend was acquitted in the 1994 double murder.

Brian “Kato” Kaelin, who lived in Simpson’s guest house at the time of killings, identified Simpson as the killer in an interview with the New York Post.

“The statute of limitations has now passed … so I can now say … yes, he did it,” Kaelin told Cindy Adams of the Post. Asked why his testimony did not help convict Simpson, he replied, “I was too scared. I was terrified.”

But Kaelin, in an interview with TMZ.com, denied the statute of limitations comment and said he only thinks O.J. Simpson did the killings and does not have specific knowledge.

Kaelin became a minor celebrity after testifying in the criminal trial in which Simpson was acquitted and the civil trial in which he was found liable for the wrongful deaths.

He in is best known for describing the three thumps he heard from his guest house on Simpson’s estate the night Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman were killed.

His story has changed over the years, as has his demeanor. The man who came off as a wisecracker in the criminal case was decidedly more serious during the later civil trial.

In the civil trial, Kaelin testified that the noises he heard sounded “like someone falling back behind my bedroom wall.” The description meshes with the plaintiffs’ scenario — that Simpson made the noises when he crashed into the air conditioner behind Kaelin’s wall while jumping over a fence in a mad dash to get back to his house after the killings.

That was far more specific than Kaelin’s previous accounts of the noises, which he had described as generic, rhythmic thumps that he mistook for an earthquake. He would concede in the civil trial that the noise could have been as late as 10:50 p.m., about 10 minutes after the killing.

Kaelin, a struggling actor, became an instant celebrity after his televised testimony. He testified he left Simpson standing in the driveway after a burger run to McDonald’s at 9:37 on the night of the murders and that when he saw him at 11 he had no cuts on his hands, as prosecutors had maintained.

During the criminal trial, prosecutors declared Kaelin a hostile witness, as he provided rambling, unclear answers. He played down Simpson’s dislike of his ex-wife, and prosecutors briefly talked of pursuing a perjury allegation.

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©2012 Los Angeles Times

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