So, the big news of the day – deserving or not – is that OJ is going to jail. No, not for the murder of Nicole and Ron 14 years ago, but this time for a robbery conviction in Las Vegas on last Friday.
The LA Times reported:
Reporting from Los Angeles and Las Vegas — Brushing aside a tearful apology from O.J. Simpson, a Las Vegas judge today sentenced the former football star to at least nine years in prison for the kidnapping and robbery last year of two sports memorabilia dealers in a casino hotel room.
Under the sentence handed down by Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass, Simpson would be eligible for parole in 2017. The maximum time he could serve is 33 years.
The sentence came after an emotional address in which Simpson sought to justify his conduct at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino. His eyes red and his voice wavering, the NFL Hall of Famer said he went to the down-market hotel in an effort to recover family heirlooms, including his slain ex-wife’s wedding ring, to pass down to his children.
“In no way did I mean to hurt anybody, to steal anything from anybody,” Simpson said. “I just wanted my personal things.”
Next, here is what happened when OJ was taken to jail, or more specifically, this is after his booking at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas following his arrest on January 11, 2008 for violating bail terms relating to his arrest for armed robbery in September 2007. These never-before-seen images include a candid interview with Simpson, providing his first-hand reaction to the arrest.
I find it amazing how non-chalant he is about the whole thing.
Anyway, here’s more of the backstory from the LA Times articles:
Simpson, 61, was convicted Oct. 3 for kidnapping and armed robbery, among other charges stemming from the Sept. 13, 2007, encounter at the off-strip casino. He led a rag-tag band of men, two carrying handguns, to confront dealers hawking mementos from him and other sports stars.
Clark County Dist. Atty. David Roger described Simpson as a “ringleader” who deserved a stiffer sentence than Stewart. It was Simpson, he said, who secured the two handguns and rounded up accomplices.
“He chose to use force and violence to take this property,” Roger said.
Simpson’s defense had asked for what they said was the most lenient sentence possible — six to 17 1/2 years in prison. State parole authorities had recommended at least 18 years in prison.
A lawyer for Simpson noted in court today that the dealers, Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong, did not take the witness stand to ask for prison sentences for the convicted me, as victims often do.
“I think that says a lot,” said attorney Gabriel Grasso.
In his remarks, Simpson said he had been in contact with the men, who both said they did not want him incarcerated, and asked their forgiveness.
Yale Galanter, another Simpson lawyer, told the judge that while the gridiron great’s actions “reeked of stupidity,” they were not meant to cause harm.
“In Mr. Simpson’s mind … what he was doing truly was a retrieval of his own property,” Galanter said. “What it was was a highly emotional stupid act that violated the law.”
Simpson accepted an opportunity to speak to the judge, a surprise to Glass, she later said. Dressed in a blue jail-issued uniform and shackled at the waist, he spoke haltingly. He said that before the confrontation with the dealers, he had contacted his ex-wife’s family and told them, “I had a chance to get some of our property back.”
Items stolen from him over the years, he said, included Nicole Brown Simpson’s ring and a photo of him with President Gerald Ford. He said he hoped to give these to his younger daughter and eldest son, respectively.
“This was the first time I had an opportunity to catch the guys red-handed who had been stealing from my family,” he said.
Hey, the good news is… maybe OJ can save the country by taking our minds off the terrible economic woes!