Simpson Back in Court

Heather Brown

Former football star O.J. Simpson is once again making
headlines. He is currently on trial for an incident that occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Prosecutors allege that Simpson and co-defendant, Clarence Stewart, met two
memorabilia dealers in a hotel room in order to get back personal items taken
from Simpson after the death of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and that the
memorabilia dealers were held at gunpoint during the meeting. Simpson entered
the hotel room accompanied by four men in addition to himself and Stewart. 

Simpson alleges that yes, he did enter the hotel room to
speak with the two memorabilia dealers, but it was only to retrieve personal
affects that were stolen from him. He denies the state’s allegations that two
of the men in the room with him brought guns at his request and were waving
them around as a means of intimidation.

The all-white jury heard recordings made by Thomas Ricco of
the incident in question. On the recordings, Simpson can be heard yelling,
“Don’t let nobody out of here! You think you can steal my s— and sell it? I
trusted you man!”

Other recordings heard by the jury also backed up Simpson’s
claim that there were no guns present in the room and that he “never saw a gun,
[he] wouldn’t let anyone in with a gun.”

Ricco is an acquaintance of one of the memorabilia dealers
and a friend of Simpson. He recorded the meeting and the aftermath to ensure
that he would be compensated for the things taken from him.

Simpson was acquitted by a Los Angeles court in 1995 of the
double-murder of his ex-wife and her friend, Roland Goldman. He was then found
to be civilly responsible for their deaths in 1997 and ordered to pay 33.5
million dollars to the families of the deceased.

Simpson and Stewart have been charged with 12 counts of
robbery, conspiracy, kidnapping, and assault. If found guilty, both defendants
could receive a life-in-prison sentence.

Simpson’s four other cohorts have pleaded guilty and have
agreed to assist the prosecution in its case against Simpson and Stewart.