Ex-US football star O J Simpson facing life term after guilty verdictOctober 4th, 2008 - 3:33 pm ICT by ANI
New York, Oct.4 (ANI): O J Simpson has been found guilty of kidnapping and armed robbery in Las Vegas.
An all-white jury of nine women and three men unanimously found Simpson guilty of all 12 charges after more than 13 continuous 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 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 downtown Las Vegas heard.
Simpson, 61, who now lives in Miami, Florida, faces up to life in prison, reports the New York Daily News.
The former actor and NFL star’’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 prompted debates over the racial elements of the case and the suitability of televised trials.
District Attorney David Roger, prosecuting, said Simpson was the leader of a conspiracy last year and none of the men with him cared about the memorabilia in the room. “But there was one person, and that was defendant Simpson,” he said, raising his voice. He is the person who put these crimes together. He is the one who recruited these individuals to help him commit the crimes.”
Deputy district attorney Chris Owens, prosecuting, said Simpson took a gang of men to the Palace Station to retrieve items he lost while trying to hide them from the family of Ronald Goldman and the California court which levied a 33.5 million dollar (PS18.9m) civil wrongful death judgment against Simpson.
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 golfing friend and co-defendant in the trial.
Yale Galanter, defending Simpson, told the jury the prosecution had failed to prove his client was guilty and added that the case “has taken on a life of its own because of Mr Simpson’’s involvement”.
He told the jury that Simpson never intended to commit a robbery but wanted to reclaim personal mementoes of his career and family life which were being sold by memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley. (ANI)
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