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O.J. Simpson Arrest Warrant Withdrawn

November 07, 2002|From Associated Press

MIAMI — A judge withdrew an arrest warrant for O.J. Simpson after his attorney appeared in court Wednesday on a charge that the former football star sped through a manatee zone in a power boat.

Judge Ana Maria Pando had issued a bench warrant for Simpson after he and his attorney missed a court hearing earlier in the day. The warrant meant Simpson could have been arrested if he were stopped by police.

Defense attorney Yale Galanter said he didn't attend the first hearing because of a notification mix-up.

Pando rescheduled the hearing for Nov. 22, said Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade state attorney's office.

Simpson was deciding whether to pay the $65 fine stemming from a July 4 outing on Biscayne Bay, Galanter said. The second-degree misdemeanor charge of failure to pay a citation would be dropped if Simpson paid the fine, Griffith said.

Simpson chose to plead innocent in September instead of paying the fine. He was ticketed for creating a wake in a manatee zone near downtown Miami, the equivalent of a speeding ticket.

The plea, however, was filed five days after Simpson was issued an "affidavit of noncompliance" by Judge Martin Shapiro for failing to appear for a Sept. 12 arraignment.

Galanter said that Simpson wasn't required to appear in court on that date. He said the ticket was issued based on a subjective call by the officer.

Galanter has said a Simpson girlfriend, Christie Prody, and another couple were on board the boat steered by Simpson, who now lives in Miami.

Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

A civil jury later held Simpson liable for the killings and ordered him to pay the victims' survivors $33.5 million. He has not worked since. Any money he makes could be seized to satisfy that judgment, which remains largely unpaid.

He continues to maintain his innocence in the killings.

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