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O.J. Simpson hearing continues Tuesday as he seeks new trial

May 14, 2013|By John M. Glionna

LAS VEGAS -- O.J. Simpson was due back in court Tuesday in his bid for a new trial on his 2008 convictions for robbery and kidnapping, which sent him to prison for up to 33 years. 

On Monday, the disgraced former all-star NFL running back and Heisman Trophy winner from USC sat shackled to his seat while several witnesses testified that his former defense lawyer, Miami-based Yale Galanter, had offered him poor legal representation.

Simpson was convicted in the gunpoint robbery and kidnapping of two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson's defense argued he was merely trying to recover property that was rightfully his.

The 65-year-old former TV pitchman and pro running back contends in court papers that Galanter never told him prosecutors had offered a plea bargain. He says Galanter also had a conflict of interest  because he had  approved Simpson's plan to retrieve the family photos, footballs, trophies and other personal belongings as long as no one trespassed and no force was used. 

Simpson has said he didn’t know that the five men who accompanied him to the Palace Station hotel had guns.

Both Simpson and Galanter are expected to testify in the retrial hearing before Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell. It is expected to last a week.

The high-profile trial was not Simpson's first. In 1995, he was acquitted in Los Angeles of murdering his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. In a subsequent civil trial, Simpson was found liable for civil damages of $33.5 million.

The civil case was the only time Simpson testified in open court.

Attorneys said they expect Simpson to take the stand on Wednesday, but the timing remains in doubt. Testimony from Galanter’s co-counsel and longtime friend, Gabriel Grasso, lasted all Monday afternoon and was expected to continue Tuesday morning. 

Grasso testified that Galanter was self-serving and took money for himself without paying for either Grasso’s services or those of experts necessary to analyze audio recordings taken from the hotel room that helped send Simpson to prison for nine to 33 years.

Simpson will be 70 before he is eligible for parole.


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