Simpson attorneys subpoena film, notes on Fuhrman conflict
WASHINGTON–In an attempt to learn more about Los Angeles Police Detective Mark Fuhrman’s altercation with a Spokane Spokesman-Review photographer in late January, attorneys for O.J. Simpson in late March subpoenaed the newspaper’s photographs and a taped interview conducted before the airport altercation.
According to the newspaper, Simpson co-counsel Carl Douglas faxed a California subpoena seeking all 25 photographs taken by photographer Dan McComb at the Spokane International Airport. A second subpoena issued the same day sought reporter Bill Morlin’s 10-minute taped interview with Fuhrman, conducted as the controversial detective headed home from a house-hunting trip to Sandpoint, Idaho.
The newspaper said the materials would not be turned over until the attorneys obtained a Washington State subpoena.
Simpson defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey, who initially called Morlin requesting the photographs, has hired Puyallup, Washington attorney Doug Kaukl to process the California subpoena in Washington state, the newspaper reported.
California subpoenas cannot legally be used to acquired information from outside the state, according to Spokesman-Review attorney Duane Swinton.
Chris Peck, the newspaper’s managing editor, said that since most of the information contained on film and on Morlin’s tape already has been published, the newspaper would not object to releasing the materials under a valid Washington subpoena.
Peck said he requested that the Simpson team also demonstrate that the photographs and interview are necessary to the case — an action normally required under the California reporter’s shield law. Washington has no shield law for reporters.
Morlin has acknowledged that the tape contained nothing confidential, but said the newspaper “will not voluntarily give anything up.”
Fuhrman’s attorneys have acknowledged that the detective hit McComb, 28, with a metal briefcase and knocked him to the ground after becoming enraged over being pursued by an “overzealous photographer.” McComb approached Fuhrman only after the detective had granted a 10-minute interview to Morlin in the airport. (People v. Simpson; Media Counsel: Duane Swinton, Spokane)