Posted Nov. 9, 2007 – O.J. Simpson appears today in court for the second consecutive day of a pre-trial hearing to decide if there’s enough evidence to try him for 12 felonies, including kidnapping and robbery.
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Simpson reportedly has expressed worry that prosecutors are hoping to bring him down since it was widely believed that he murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. Defended by the late Johnnie Cochran, Simpson was found not guilty in one of the most controversial trials of the century.
Sports memorabilia collector Bruce Fromong testified Thursday that Simpson and a group of several men, at least two carrying guns, threatened Fromong in a Las Vegas hotel room Sept. 13, when Simpson took about $80,000 in valuables connected with his sports career from Fromong and his partner.
A recording of a voice message Simpson left for James Riccio, the man who set up the meeting – and who planted a tape recorder in the hotel room – was played in court, revealing Simpson’s voice: “Nobody had a gun, you know? Ain't nobody had any guns. They're feeling guilty so they're trying to make up something.” Simpson claimed the items taken belonged to him, though Fromong testified that he is a professional collector who has dealt with numerous athletes and that he owned the memorabilia. Defense lawyers for Simpson tried to discredit Fromong by questioning him about prescription medication he uses and whether the medicine may have affected his recollection of the hotel incident.
Three of Simpsons co-defendants in the case already have pleaded guilty to lesser charges and agreed to testify against him. FBI records show that the bureau knew of Simpson’s plans to retrieve the items three weeks before the incident that resulted in his arrest on the first criminal charges he’s faced since his murder case. Some observers say Simpson’s concern about payback for his 1995 acquittal on the murder charges is warranted.
The Hall of Fame football legend’s public image has suffered consistently since the trial, especially since his recent failed attempt to publish the book "If I Did It," which he claimed was a fictionalized account of how he would’ve killed the victims, had he been responsible. Simpson is free on $125,000 bond.
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