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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

O. J. Simpson faces a dozen charges, including kidnapping, which carries a life sentence, armed robbery, coercion, assault with a deadly weapon

O.J. Simpson told one of his companions to "put the guns away," when Simpson and his entourage had a run-in with two collectibles dealers on Sept. 13, 2007, at a Las Vegas hotel, a witness in Simpson's robbery/kidnapping trial testified Monday afternoon.Also, another prosecution witness — a collectibles dealer who was on the witness stand for three days — revealed he had personally made $210,000 as a result of his involvement with the case.

O. J. Simpson faces a dozen charges, including kidnapping, which carries a life sentence, armed robbery, coercion, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy, to name just a few, for the September incident in a Las Vegas hotel room in which he allegedly sought to retrieve items that belonged to him, including photographs of his children and late parents.Co-defendant Clarence “C. J.” Stewart, who was in Simpson’s group, faces the same charges. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
Charles B. Ehrlich, another of the men who joined O. J. Simpson on Sept. 13 to the Las Vegas Palace Station Hotel & Casino to retrieve the items from two sports memorabilia dealers, testified Monday that the former NFL star well knew that one of his associates was armed.Simpson has been adamant that he did not know anyone in his posse was carrying a gun.Ehrlich however told the judge and jury that he heard Simpson tell one of the associates, “Put the gun away,” during the confrontation, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. Ehrlich has pleaded guilty to lesser charges, agreeing to testify for the prosecution against Simpson and Stewart.
Bruce Fromong, one of the two alleged victims, also testified last week that he remembered how at one point Simpson was waving his arm up and down as someone asked for the gun to be put away.There is no consensus among witnesses though, as Thomas Riccio, the collectibles broker who arranged the meeting and who was inventive enough to hide a recorder in the hotel room (which recorded everything that was said there, including what police investigators called to the scene commented), has testified that he never heard any of the men present during the confrontation mention anything about a gun.Riccio also revealed during questioning that he made more than $210,000 from media deals he arranged, with the secret recordings as object of desire. He received $150,000 from celebrity gossip site, another $15,000 from ABC News and $25,000 more from “Entertainment Tonight.” Howard Stern’s radio show provided him with an additional $20,000 through a sponsor, he testified, as quoted by the Times.
Riccio’s piggy bank was further filled up when in April of this year he published “Busted: The Inside Story of the World of Sports Memorabilia, O.J. Simpson and the Vegas Arrests,” about last year’s incident. This reportedly earned him $20,000.



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