Witnesses wait at O.J. Simpson's robbery trial

By: AP
By: AP

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- One by one, jurors in the O.J. Simpson trial are meeting the men who were in the casino hotel room where the former football star is accused of orchestrating the robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint.

Testimony was to resume Wednesday for an eighth day in Simpson's criminal trial, and former co-defendants Charles Cashmore and Walter Alexander, and alleged victim Alfred Beardsley were waiting for the call to testify, their lawyers said.

First Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass must decide whether to allow evidence in the year-old robbery case that is related to Simpson's acquittal in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in Los Angeles.

"I just have to make the decision," Glass said after sending the jury home Tuesday while she listened to arguments about whether to let a California lawyer for the Goldman estate testify about answers Simpson gave in February 2007 in response to a legal questionnaire about his assets.

Goldman lawyer David Cook has pursued Simpson for more than a decade to obtain payment of a $33.5 million civil wrongful death judgment levied in March 1997 against Simpson by a California judge.

Simpson lawyer, Yale Galanter, told Glass that testimony about the judgment and Simpson's acquittal in 1995 would prejudice the jury.

District Attorney David Roger said he wants to show that Simpson tried to squirrel away memorabilia and avoid paying the Goldman judgment, and that anger at the Goldman family was a reason he orchestrated the raid on the hotel room with five other men.

"It establishes his motive," Roger said, "his common scheme and plan with regard to this robbery."

The jury has heard from three of the nine middle-aged men who were in Room 1203 at the Palace Station casino hotel the night of Sept. 13, 2007: alleged robbery and kidnapping victim Bruce Fromong, former co-defendant Charles Ehrlich, and Thomas Riccio, the man who set up the meeting and then secretly recorded it.

Jurors could hear from Cashmore, a journeyman laborer, bartender and disc jockey who testified last November that he only went along to help move boxes.

Alexander, a Simpson golfing buddy from Mesa, Ariz., has testified that Simpson said to bring guns and but later instructed him to deny that weapons were used.

Cashmore's lawyer, Edward Miley, said Cashmore was notified to be prepared to testify Wednesday. Alexander was with his lawyer, Robert Dennis Rentzer, at the courthouse Tuesday. They said they expected to be called at any time.

Beardsley's lawyer, Jack Neil Swickard, said he was notified that the sports memorabilia dealer may not testify before Thursday.


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