Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

OJ Simpson found guilty of armed robbery

OJ Simpson reacts as he is found guilty on all 12 charges, including felony kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy at the Clark County Regional Justice Center on October 3, 2008 in Las Vegas
OJ Simpson reacts as he is found guilty on all 12 charges, including felony kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy at the Clark County Regional Justice Center on October 3, 2008 in Las Vegas

OJ Simpson was found guilty of kidnapping and armed robbery in Las Vegas yesterday.

An all-white jury of nine women and three men unanimously found Simpson guilty of all 12 charges after more than 13 hours of deliberations, which started 13 years to the day after he was cleared of a double murder in America's "trial of the century".

The former American football star and actor kidnapped two sports memorabilia dealers by holding them in a room at the Palace Station hotel and casino in Las Vegas before stealing items from them on September 13 last year, the Clark County District Court in Las Vegas heard.

The 61-year-old could spend the rest of his life in prison. Sentencing is deue to take place on 5 December.

Simpson's high-profile 1995 trial saw him cleared of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman, by a predominantly black jury in Los Angeles.

The verdict shocked the world and sparked debates over the racial elements of the case and the suitability of televised trials.

District Attorney David Roger, prosecuting, said Simpson was "the person who put these crimes together. He is the one who recruited these individuals to help him commit the crimes."

Four of the five men who accompanied Simpson to the casino - Charles Cashmore, Walter "Goldie" Alexander, Michael "Spencer" McClinton and Charles Ehrlich - have accepted plea deals and agreed to testify for the prosecution.

The fifth, Clarence "CJ" Stewart, 54, was his co-defendant in the trial.

Yale Galanter, defending Simpson, told the jury the case "has taken on a life of its own because of Mr Simpson's involvement".

"Every co-operator, every person who had a gun, every person who had an ulterior motive, every person who signed a book deal, every person who got paid money - the police, the district attorney's office, is only interested in one thing: Mr Simpson," Mr Galanter said.

"He has always been the target of this investigation, and nothing else mattered."

Witnesses told the court Simpson repeatedly said he did not know guns were to be present in the hotel room.

Neither Simpson nor Stewart gave evidence during the three-week trial, and jurors were instructed not to consider that when judging the case.

Before the trial began, one prospective juror was dismissed after she told the court she "felt he got away with murder".

In 2006, Simpson wrote a book called 'If I Did It', which detailed hypothetically how he might have murdered his wife had he been so inclined.

The book was withdrawn by HarperCollins shortly before being published.

In August last year, a Florida bankruptcy court gave the rights to the book to the Goldman family, who published it under the title I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.

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