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Nov-08-2007 10:24TweetFollow @OregonNews
O.J. Simpson Trial Begins in Las VegasTim King Salem-News.com
The former sports star's co-defendants are Clarence "C.J." Stewart and Charles Ehrlich.
(LAS VEGAS, Nevada) - O.J. Simpson and his entourage have arrived at a Las Vegas courthouse for a hearing over the armed robbery charges he is facing.
The two day hearing began at 10:00 AM west coast time. The judge on the case, District Judge Joseph Bonaventure, has to determine this week if enough evidence exists to try the case next year.
What is known is that Simpson, four friends and a man he met in a bar the night of the alleged offense, went with a California collectibles broker named Tom Riccio to meet two memorabilia dealers; Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong. The meeting took place in a Las Vegas casino hotel room.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that the confrontation that Riccio recorded on audiotape, turned in an armed robbery when a gun was drawn, there may have been more than one, even though no shots were fired, prosecutors say.
Defense Attorney Michael Shapiro says that does raise the ante, "When guns come into play, bad things can happen," the Sun reported.
"The case will pivot on Simpson's contention that he didn't ask anyone to bring guns, didn't know anyone had guns, and that no guns were displayed. He has said that all he wanted in the Sept. 13 confrontation in room 1203 of the Palace Station hotel-casino was to retrieve items that had been stolen from him by a former agent, including the suit he wore the day he was acquitted in Los Angeles."
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The memorabilia allegedly taken included footballs that signed by Simpson, Joe Montana lithographs, baseballs autographed by Pete Rose and Duke Snider, photos of Simpson with the Heisman Trophy, and other framed awards and plaques. The value of the items was estimated to be as much as $100,000.
The former sports star's co-defendants are Clarence "C.J." Stewart and Charles Ehrlich. They are facing 12 criminal charges, including Kidnapping, Aarmed Robbery, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Conspiracy and Coercion.
The Sun reports that a kidnapping conviction alone could result in a sentence of life in prison with parole.
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