OJ submits new appeal in Vegas robbery conviction
May. 22, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Lawyers for ex-football star O.J. Simpson submitted an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, asking for his release from prison and a new trial in his 2007 Las Vegas armed-robbery case.
The lawyers met a midnight Wednesday deadline to submit a request for the court to review Simpson's claim that 2008 trial in Las Vegas was tainted by his fame and notoriety following his 1995 acquittal in Los Angeles in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend. The trial of Simpson, a Hall of Fame player and celebrity TV analyst, was one of the most sensational in recent U.S. history.
The court hasn't decided whether to hear oral arguments. Simpsons lawyers complicated matters by submitting a document totaling 19,993 words — some 43 percent longer than the 14,000-word limit the court had set, according to a court spokesman. It will be up to the seven justices to decide whether to accept it for filing and consideration. Until that time, the document hasn't been made public.
Simpson, 66, is serving nine to 33 years in a Nevada prison after being found guilty of leading a group of armed men in a September 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas casino hotel. He was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges. He's not eligible for parole until late 2017.
Simpson claimed he was trying to retrieve from the memorabilia dealers items that had been stolen from him after his Los Angeles trial and a 1997 civil court a wrongful-death judgment that left him owing $33.5 million to the estates of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
The former Buffalo Bills and University of Southern California star testified last year that he thought he had a right to get his own belongings back, and he never knew any of the men with him were carrying guns.
The appeal stems from arguments rejected last year by Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell that Simpson's trial attorney botched his trial and first appeal to the state Supreme Court, which acts as the only appeals court in Nevada.
Simpson attorney Patricia Palm said the appeal ran long because she and attorneys Ozzie Fumo and Tom Pitaro were responding in detail to the judge's Nov. 26 ruling, which totaled 101 pages.
Palm said the state high court routinely accepts oversized filings in complex cases. She also submitted 36 appendices to the appeal brief.
Bell's ruling came after she held five days of hearings in Las Vegas on a 94-page petition that Palm filed in May 2012 seeking a new trial on 22 possible grounds.
The judge said she reviewed the entire Simpson court record and determined that evidence was overwhelming that Simpson orchestrated the armed kidnapping and robbery, and that Simpson's current attorneys failed to demonstrate how his former lawyer's actions changed the outcome of the case.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he was confident that Bell's ruling would be upheld. Wolfson's wife, former Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass, presided over Simpson's 2008 trial and sentencing.
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