NationNation Now

O.J. Simpson says he didn't know his Las Vegas cohorts had guns

O.J. SimpsonJustice SystemTheftKidnappingCrime, Law and JusticeHeisman TrophySheldon Adelson

LAS VEGAS — O.J. Simpson finally took the stand as the star witness in his bid to receive a new trial on the kidnapping and robbery charges that sent him to prison for up to 33 years.

Gently coached in about 2 1/2 hours of testimony Wednesday morning by one of his attorneys, Patricia Palm, the 65-year-old former football star and Heisman Trophy winner described what happened one night in 2007, when he and five others entered a hotel room at the Palace Station casino and demanded the return of sports memorabilia Simpson insisted had been stolen from him.

Simpson has said he did not know that the men who accompanied him to the Palace Station had guns, and he repeated that assertion Wednesday.

When asked by Palm about what led up to the confrontation at the hotel room, Simpson replied, “There was no talk of guns at all.”

In recounting the incident, he also said, “It obviously didn’t go as I hoped it would.’’

Simpson was convicted in the gunpoint robbery and kidnapping of two sports memorabilia dealers and sentenced to nine to 33 years in a Nevada prison. He is seeking a new trial, arguing that his attorneys at the time put forth a shoddy defense.

For two days, Simpson has watched the court proceedings quietly, occasionally speaking with his attorneys. The testimony before Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell featured the new O.J. Simpson who has spent years out of the camera’s eye — jowly, gray-haired, tired-looking. He was shackled and wore blue prison togs.

But there were also flashes of the old star-wattage Simpson, of the athlete known as “Juice” — the easy smile, the personable laugh, the guy used to being the life of the party.

At one point in his testimony, he explained comments he made after the hotel room confrontation. The comments were captured on audiotape and suggested he knew there would be legal problems in his future. “What I said was here we go again. I’m gonna need a bail bondsman,” Simpson testified.

Simpson will resume his testimony Wednesday afternoon.

ALSO:

Cleveland kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro to plead not guilty

Prince Harry tours Sandy-battered N.J.: 'This used to be a house?'

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson hit with $70-million civil judgment

john.glionna@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
O.J. SimpsonJustice SystemTheftKidnappingCrime, Law and JusticeHeisman TrophySheldon Adelson
  • White House intruder arrested after entering front doors
    White House intruder arrested after entering front doors

    An intruder scaled a White House fence and made it all the way into the building Friday evening before he was caught and wrestled to the ground by security officers, the Secret Service said. President Obama and his family had already left for Camp David when the incident occurred.

  • Man who killed daughter and grandchildren had violent past
    Man who killed daughter and grandchildren had violent past

    Don Spirit, a Florida grandfather who fatally shot his daughter Sarah Lorraine Spirit and six grandchildren before killing himself, had a long history of domestic violence — at one point pushing his pregnant daughter against a refrigerator and assaulting and threatening his former...

  • Rain pounds Texas: A sign the drought is ending?
    Rain pounds Texas: A sign the drought is ending?

    In Texas, where the governor once urged the public to pray for rain, this week’s torrential storms might finally be a sign of lasting relief for the state plagued by years of drought. Or maybe not.

  • For many in Congress, a first test on issues of war
    For many in Congress, a first test on issues of war

    Lawmakers' votes this week on whether or not to train and equip Syrian opposition forces in the fight against Islamic State were arguably the most consequential after nearly two years in which Congress is likely to set a new low for productivity.

  • Egyptian militant admits links to 1998 U.S. embassy bombings

    A longtime Egyptian militant with ties to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden admitted in federal court Friday that he had links to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, a surprise guilty plea that the judge sharply questioned because it reduces his prison time from a potential life sentence to...

  • Four takeaways from the vote in Congress to arm Syrian rebels
    Four takeaways from the vote in Congress to arm Syrian rebels

    What was supposed to be a no-drama final session of Congress before the campaign season turned into anything but as President Obama's new strategy to combat the threat from Islamic State resulted in a wrenching vote that is likely to reverberate through the midterm election and...

Comments
Loading