Simpson and co-defendant guilty of armed robbery and kidnapping

October 4th, 2008 - 2:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Oct 4 (DPA) A jury have found disgraced US sporting legend O.J. Simpson and his co-defendant guilty of a dozen counts of armed robbery and kidnapping.Simpson, 61, and his co-defendant, onetime golfing buddy Clarence “CJ” Stewart, 54, were found guilty Friday of the alleged robbery of two sports-memorabilia dealers a year ago at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The most serious of the charges, kidnapping, carries a potential life sentence.

The panel of nine women and three men deliberated more than 12 hours after listening to nearly three weeks of testimony in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The jury’s discussions began exactly 13 years after Simpson was acquitted in Los Angeles of murdering his ex-wife and her friend.

Simpson’s attorney Yale Galanter had argued before the jury that his client was simply retrieving memorabilia that had been unlawfully taken from him.

Prosecutor Christopher Owens tied the case to Simpson’s controversial 1995 acquittal of charges that he murdered his wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman. Simpson was later found liable in a lawsuit for millions in civil damages.

Owens claimed that Simpson hid valuable mementos with friends to avoid handing them over to Goldman’s father, Fred, as part of the financial settlement. When one of those friends, a former agent, did not return the items to Simpson, he became angry and began planning a sting, the prosecutor said.

Simpson went with a half-dozen men to the hotel room, where he threatened the agent. “Stand … up before it gets ugly in here,” he said, according to a recording of the incident played by Owens.

Galanter had earlier said “It’s a case about recovering personal items.”

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