News Column

OJ Simpson Testifies in Appeal Hearing

May 15, 2013

Former football star OJ Simpson took the stand Wednesday in an appeal hearing of his 2008 conviction for robbery and assault.

Simpson, 65, claims he was badly misrepresented by his previous lawyers when he was convicted in 2008 after entering a hotel room in Las Vegas with an armed group to try and retrieve memorabilia that he claimed belonged to him.

Other defendants in the cases pleaded guilty and received short prison sentences, but Simpson pleaded not guilty, was convicted and sentenced to nine to 33 years in jail.

Wearing a dark blue prison uniform, Simpson testified about the encounter in the Las Vegas hotel that landed him in jail. He denied prior testimony that he knew some of the men accompanying him would be carrying weapons. "That was absolutely not true," he said.

According to his appeal, Simpson's previous attorney, Yale Galanter, had been aware of his plans to retrieve the memorabilia and therefore had a conflict of interest when he represented the former star player in the case. Simpson also claims he was not made aware of the plea deals offered to his co-conspirators.

"He consistently told me the state could not prove its case because I acted within my rights in retaking my own property," Simpson said in a sworn statement submitted to the court.

Simpson did not testify in the original trial. His current sentence leaves him eligible for parole in 2017.

Simpson was sensationally acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, and her friend. He was later found liable in a lawsuit filed by the families of the two victims and was ordered to pay 33.5 million dollars in damages.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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