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the agreed time, he became the object of a low-speed pursuit in a white 1993 Ford Bronco SUV owned and driven by his friend Al Cowlings. TV stations interruptedThe O. J. Simpson murder case (officially The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson) was a criminal trial held in Los Angeles County Superior Court in which former National Football League (NFL) player, broadcaster and actor O. J. Simpson was tried for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald "Ron" Goldman, who were stabbed to death outside Brown's condominium in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles on the night of June 12, 1994. The trial spanned eleven months, from the jury's swearing-in on November 9, 1994. Opening statements were made on January 24, 1995, and Simpson was acquitted of both counts of murder on October 3 of the same year. The trial is often characterized as the trial of the century because of its international publicity and has been described as the "most publicized" criminal trial in history.Following perfunctory questioning by police detectives, Simpson was formally charged with the murders on June 17, 1994, after investigators found a blood-stained glove on his property. After he did not turn himself in at the agreed time, he became the object of a low-speed pursuit in a white 1993 Ford Bronco SUV owned and driven by his friend Al Cowlings. TV stations interrupted coverage of the 1994 NBA Finals to broadcast live coverage of the pursuit, which was watched by an estimated 95 million people. The pursuit and Simpson's subsequent arrest were among the most widely publicized events in American history. Simpson was represented by a high-profile defense team, also referred to as the "Dream Team", which was initially led by Robert Shapiro and subsequently directed by Johnnie Cochran. The team also included F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Kardashian, Shawn Holley, Carl E. Douglas, and Gerald Uelmen. Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld were two additional attorneys who specialized in DNA evidence. While Deputy District Attorneys Marcia Clark, William Hodgman and Christopher Darden believed they had a strong case against Simpson, Cochran was able to convince the jury that there was reasonable doubt concerning the validity of the State's DNA evidence, which was a relatively new form of evidence in trials at that time. The reasonable doubt theory included evidence that the blood sample had allegedly been mishandled by lab scientists and technicians, and there were questionable circumstances that surrounded other court exhibits. Cochran and the defense team also alleged other misconduct by the LAPD related to systemic racism and incompetence, in particular actions and comments of Detective Mark Fuhrman. The trial became historically significant because of the reaction to the verdict. Although the nation observed the same evidence presented at trial, a division along racial lines emerged in observers opinion of the verdict, which the media dubbed the "racial gap". A poll of Los Angeles County residents showed that most African Americans felt that justice had been served by the "not guilty" verdict, while the majority of whites and Latinos felt it was a racially motivated jury nullification by a mostly African-American jury. More recent polling shows the "gap" has narrowed since the trial, with over half of polled black respondents in 2013 stating they believed Simpson was guilty.After the trial, Goldman's father filed a civil suit against Simpson. On February 4, 1997, the jury unanimously found Simpson responsible for the deaths of both Goldman and Brown. The Goldman family was awarded compensatory and punitive damages totaling $33.5 million ($53.4 million in 2019 dollars), but have received only a small portion of that monetary figure. In 2000, Simpson left California for Florida, one of the few states where personal assets such as homes and pensions cannot be seized to cover liabilities that were incurred in other states.