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Judge seeks Hall of Fame ring

Lawyer trying to collect judgment from O.J. Simpson says he was told kidnapping victim had it.

October 18, 2008|Harriet Ryan | Times Staff Writer

The judge overseeing efforts to collect a $33.5-million civil judgment against O.J. Simpson said Friday that he will hold a hearing next month to investigate allegations that the NFL star's valuable Hall of Fame ring is in the possession of a memorabilia dealer he was recently convicted of kidnapping.

A lawyer for Fred Goldman, whose son was slain alongside Simpson's ex-wife in 1994, said a Las Vegas prosecutor informed him Monday that Simpson gave Alfred Beardsley the ring. Earlier this month, a Nevada jury convicted Simpson of robbing and kidnapping Beardsley and another man last year.

Judge Gerald Rosenberg ordered Beardsley to appear in court Nov. 19 to answer questions about the ring.

Beardsley has been incarcerated at the state prison in Chino on a parole violation since shortly after the Sept. 13, 2007, robbery. In court papers, Goldman's attorney wrote that David Roger, the district attorney who prosecuted Simpson, told him that the retired athlete passed the ring to Beardsley to avoid paying the civil judgment.

Roger "indicated the ring was extremely valuable and might have a dollar value in the hundreds of thousands of dollars," wrote David Cook, lawyer for Fred Goldman.

Roger did not return calls seeking comment.

The whereabouts of the ring has been the subject of speculation since 1997, when a civil jury found Simpson liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman. A criminal jury previously acquitted him of the murders.

Simpson reportedly told attorneys at the time of the civil case that he lost the ring during a round of golf. His current lawyer said Friday that Simpson, jailed in Las Vegas pending his Dec. 5 sentencing in the robbery case, misplaced it before the murders.

"We don't have it," attorney Yale Galanter said. He said he thought it was highly unlikely that Beardsley, described in the robbery trial as a Simpson "groupie," had it either.

"If Beardsley had it, everybody in the world would know about it," Galanter said.

Beardsley was called to the witness stand for the prosecution, but much of his testimony seemed to benefit Simpson's defense. He blamed the robbery on another man and implied that someone had tampered with an audiotape that was important to the district attorney's case.


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