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Deaths A Factor In OJ Custody?

In the wake of a child-custody ruling, O.J. Simpson is heading back to court in a battle that promises to revive the argument over whether the former football star killed his ex-wife.

The California Supreme Court Wednesday unanimously rejected Simpson's appeal for custody of his daughter, Sydney, 13, and son, Justin, 10. Simpson responded by saying he would return to court to fight for his children, who remain with him for now and have said they want to stay with him.

Natasha Roit, lawyer for the children's grandparents, Juditha and Louis Brown, raised the specter of a third homicide trial for Simpson, CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Jane Robelot reports.

"This decision ... reverts the custody back to the Browns. If Mr. Simpson wants to challenge that, then, yes, we'll end up in a third homicide trial," Roit said.

Among other things, the ruling said evidence about the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman should have been included in the original custody trial.

"To exclude murder obviously was wrong. It will be different this time," Roit said.

Simpson, acquitted of murder in a criminal trial but found liable for the slayings in a civil lawsuit, said he was prepared to face another trial against his ex-wife's parents.

"If they want to go back to court, we'll end up back in court," he said. However, he said,"My kids have been through enough. Why would anybody want to do this?"

Just because the children have said they want to stay with Simpson and they seem to be doing well doesn't mean they should stay with him, Roit said.

"Certainly, their wishes should be heard and their wishes should be considered," Roit said.

But, "That can't be the end of it," she said. "What would one expect these children to say? They lost their mother. I'm sure they don't want to lose their father."

The children have lived with Simpson since he was released from jail after his 1995 acquittal on charges he murdered Ms. Simpson and Goldman outside her home in June 1994.

He is appealing a $33.5 million damage award assessed in the 1996 wrongful death lawsuit that found him liable for the slayings.

The Browns appealed an Orange County judge's order granting Simpson custody. The state's 4th District Court of Appeal ruled in their favor last November and ordered a new custody trial.

This week's 3-0 ruling rejected Judge Nancy Wieben Stock's decision to exclude evidence of the murders, which she said would consume too much time and require a pointless rerun of the other trials.

Sills also said Stock wrongly required the Browns, who kept the children during Simpson's criminal trial, to prove the children would be harmed by remaining with Simpson. Instead, Simpson must prove his fitness as a parent.

The court ordered the case returned to Commissioner Thomas Schulte, who was handling it before it was transferred to Stock without explanation.