OJ Simpson : GUILTY ! - OJ is cuffed in court

Posted: Oct 4, 2008

CLICK to watch 75 SECONDS ! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhueOOw9VZo

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- Former gridiron great O.J. Simpson was found guilty Friday of all 12 counts in the armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas, Nevada, casino hotel last year.

Simpson, 61, and his co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart, 54, were charged with a dozen offenses stemming from the sports memorabilia heist. Stewart was found guilty of the same charges as Simpson.

Simpson sat quietly and showed little emotion at the defense table as courtroom clerk Sandra Jeter read the verdicts.

After the verdicts were read, deputies immediately handcuffed Simpson and led him out of the courtroom.

According to the Associated Press, Carmelita Durio, Simpson's sister, sobbed as he was being escorted out of the courtroom. As spectators left the courtroom, Durio collapsed and paramedics were called, court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer said.

Simpson and Stewart could spend the rest of their lives in prison for these convictions. Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass set sentencing for December 5.

Simpson arrived at the Clark County Justice Center at around 10:50 p.m. (1:50 a.m. Saturday ET). Simpson told CNN's Ted Rowlands on the phone before the verdict was read that he was "apprehensive."

The jury of nine men and three women, none of them African-American, reached its verdict after 13 hours of deliberations Friday. Jurors heard from 22 witnesses over 12 days of testimony. Chief among the witnesses were seven of the nine people inside Room 1203 of the Palace Station Hotel and Casino for the September 13, 2007, confrontation.

The evidence included testimony from the two dealers, four co-defendants who cut plea deals and cooperated with prosecutors, and hours of often-profane, crackling, secretly recorded audiotapes.

Prosecutors alleged that the men, led by Simpson, burst into the room, flashed a gun and threatened memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Al Beardsley.

The men then filled two pillowcases with Simpson trinkets, signed Pete Rose baseballs and Joe Montana lithographs. Simpson's defense attorneys maintained their client was merely trying to retrieve personal photographs and other mementos that belonged to him.

Neither Simpson nor Stewart testified during the trial. Instead, their attorneys savaged the motives of the other witnesses.

Simpson's lawyer, Yale Galanter, said Simpson was a target of investigators from the very beginning. The case "has taken on a life of its own because of Mr. Simpson's involvement," he added.

"Every cooperator, every person who had a gun, every person who had an ulterior motive, every person who signed a book deal, every person who got paid money, the police, the district attorney's office is only interested in one thing: Mr. Simpson," Galanter said.

Stewart was characterized by his lawyer, E. Brent Bryson, as the trial's forgotten player.

The most compelling evidence for all sides came from the audiotapes.


[ OCTOBER 3, 2008 ]