O.J. Simpson re-emerges in court to seek new robbery trial

Reuters News
Posted: May 13, 2013 1:29 PM
O.J. Simpson re-emerges in court to seek new robbery trial

By Timothy Pratt

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - O.J. Simpson, the former football star and Hollywood actor who was famously acquitted of his ex-wife's 1994 murder, appeared in a Las Vegas court on Monday seeking a new trial on his conviction on a Nevada armed robbery charge.

Simpson, who appeared in court in blue jail garb with shortly cropped hair, is currently serving up to 33 years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery in which he claimed he was trying to recover his own sports memorabilia of his storied sports career and murder trial.

Now 65, Simpson was found guilty of the hold-up at gunpoint of two sports collectors in a Las Vegas hotel room that stemmed from a bungled attempt by Simpson to recover the memorabilia from the dealers in a room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino.

Simpson's defense team argued during the trial that he was only trying to retrieve his own stolen property and he did not know an accomplice had brought a gun to the hotel room.

The star athlete-turned-actor was tried in the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Simpson was acquitted after a yearlong trial that was carried live gavel-to-gavel on U.S. television and transfixed much of the world.

Nevada's Supreme Court in 2010 refused to overturn O.J. Simpson's 2008 robbery conviction.

In that appeal his lawyers had argued that Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass failed to properly prevent the robbery and kidnapping trial from being tainted by Simpson's infamy from the murders or thoroughly screen the jury.

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In the current case, a new team of lawyers was again seeking a new trial, this time citing incompetence by his trial attorney, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Simpson, who is serving his sentence at Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada, will be eligible for parole in 2017.

(Writing by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Greg McCune and Andrew Hay)