Prosecutors today backed away from their demand that Judge Lance A. Ito disqualify himself from the rest of the marathon O.J. Simpson murder trial.

The day after frenetic legal maneuvering threatened to throw the trial into chaos, opposing lawyers agreed to a compromise allowing the beleaguered judge to rule on the admissibility of interview tapes of former detective Mark Fuhrman allegedly uttering racial epithets and talking about planting evidence to frame suspects.

After the compromise was disclosed in court, attorneys for both sides engaged in a highly emotional exchange of accusations and threats of reprisals. Later outside the courtroom, relatives of murder victim Ronald L. Goldman expressed their own outrage at Simpson's defense team for raising the issue of Fuhrman's alleged racism.

"Ron and Nicole were butchered by their client," Goldman's father, Fred, said of his son and Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. "This is not the Fuhrman trial. It is the trial of the man who murdered my son. . . . They are only interested in seeing their client go free, and they will do it at all costs. They don't care what they do."

A legal showdown over the explosive tapes, which raised fears of a possible mistrial, was resolved, temporarily at least, when the prosecution and the defense agreed that Ito will continue to disqualify himself from ruling on the portions of the tapes in which Fuhrman purportedly disparages the judge's police captain wife, but will continue to preside as trial testimony resumes.

The agreement could unravel, however, if another judge determines that Fuhrman's comments about Capt. Margaret York, the highest-ranking woman on the police force, should be admitted into evidence.

Opposing attorneys will submit written arguments on the admissibility of tapes containing 30 instances of Fuhrman's allegedly using the racial epithet "nigger" and 17 instances in which he admits planting or manufacturing evidence and lying or covering up police misconduct. Ito said oral arguments on each of those instances could be heard as early as Monday.

ABC's Primetime Live aired an interview tonight with North Carolina screenwriter Laura Hart McKinny, who recorded the tapes over nine years of sporadic interviews with Fuhrman. According to the show, Fuhrman told McKinny: "Rich niggers always want white women, like O.J. Simpson did."

After Superior Court Judge John H. Reid rules on the relevance of the tapes that involve York, Ito will be given tapes and transcripts with Fuhrman's references to his wife deleted and will be asked to rule on the admissibility of the detective's alleged racist remarks and comments about how police frame suspects.

In agreeing to the compromise, Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark, who on Tuesday said she would seek to remove Ito from the rest of the trial, today said "full recusal is not the only course {and} we decided it would not be the appropriate course in this trial."

The 13 hours of McKinny's taped interviews with Fuhrman have not been made public, although some details have been described by defense attorneys. Besides describing acrimonious "run-ins" with York in 1985 when she was Fuhrman's watch commander in West Los Angeles -- which caused Ito to recuse himself Tuesday in an effort to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest -- the tapes portray Fuhrman as repeatedly making racist remarks and discussing how police officers have to learn to "lie, cheat and set people up," according to defense attorneys.

Fuhrman, a key prosecution witness, has been accused by the defense of planting a bloody glove to incriminate Simpson in the June 12, 1994, murders of his ex-wife and Goldman. Earlier in the trial, Fuhrman denied planting the glove and denied under oath that he had used the word "nigger" in the past 10 years.

Defense attempts to impeach the detective's testimony could be pivotal in the case because, under California law, Ito is required to instruct the jury at the end of the trial that if it finds a witness to have lied about one aspect of his testimony, it can disregard the rest.

As the jury returned to court today after a day and a half of waiting outside while lawyers argued over the tapes, the defense resumed its case with testimony of Michele Kessler, director of the LAPD crime lab. Defense attorney Robert L. Shapiro asked Ito to confer "hostile witness" status on Kessler, from whom the defense is seeking to elicit testimony about an alleged lack of security at the police lab's evidence-holding facilities. Ito rejected the request but said he would allow the defense some latitude in asking Kessler leading questions.

Urging the opposing lawyers to stop bickering among themselves over collateral issues, Ito said, "I'm very concerned about the durability of this jury."

He expressed his concern after giving each side five minutes in which to "vent" the anger that had been building up during the arguments over the Fuhrman tapes.

Shapiro accused Deputy District Attorney Christopher Darden of threatening in a private lawyers' conference to force Ito to disqualify himself for the rest of the trial as retribution for past unfavorable rulings. Shapiro said he will ask for a state bar investigation into "whether they {prosecutors} attempted to obstruct justice in chambers." Darden then attempted to match Shapiro's rhetoric, accusing the defense of holding the issue of Ito's wife over the judge's head as "extortion" to get him to allow as much "racist and inflammatory" evidence into the trial as possible. Darden accused the defense of holding daily news conferences "outside and inside the courtroom" to "tease the public by throwing them bits and pieces" of the Fuhrman tape and divert attention from Simpson's guilt to extraneous racial issues. "This case is a circus, and they made it a circus," Darden declared. CAPTION: Judge Lance A. Ito tells court he is concerned about the length of the trial and getting the case to the jury.