OJ Simpson takes stand in bid for retrial - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

OJ Simpson takes stand in bid for retrial

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Simpson testifies under oath in Clark County District Court for the first time. (May 15, 2013/FOX5) Simpson testifies under oath in Clark County District Court for the first time. (May 15, 2013/FOX5)
In a Las Vegas courtroom, O.J. Simpson listens to testimony during his hearing for a retrial. (May 13, 2013/FOX5) In a Las Vegas courtroom, O.J. Simpson listens to testimony during his hearing for a retrial. (May 13, 2013/FOX5)

O.J. Simpson took the stand Wednesday to present his case for a retrial in connection with his 2008 robbery and kidnapping conviction.

Simpson was convicted of the charges after police said he robbed memorabilia dealers at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. He was sentenced to between nine and 33 years in state prison.

On Wednesday, a shackled Simpson was helped to the witness stand and then sworn in before being asked his first question by Patricia Palm, his attorney.

"Would you please tell the court how old you are today?" asked Palm.

"Sixty-five, nearing 66," Simpson replied.

The former pro football player went on to detail his relationship with his former attorney, Yale Galanter, who defended him during the original trial. He also described the incident in September 2007 that landed him in prison.

On Tuesday, the judge heard from Simpson's attorney from the original trial. Galanter testified that his defense during the first trial was that Simpson never intended to rob, hurt or steal.

He said he did not have enough money for experts, including an audio analyst who could have examined a tape of the incident.

Prosecutors presented a 2007 email that showed Gabriel Grasso agreed with Galanter, another lawyer who defended Simpson, in his decision not to fight the tapes. He said Simpson also agreed with the decision.

"He didn't think Mr. Galanter was trying to do anything wrong, or I don't think O.J. had the kind of feelings that he was being given bad advice," Grasso said. "If Galanter said 'This is the way it should be,' O.J. deferred to that."

While on the stand, Simpson said his attorney, Galanter, had advised him that it was OK for him to retrieve his belongings as long as he did not trespass in order to do so. Simpson went on to say that he trusted Galanter and that his plan to recover his memorabilia never included weapons.

However, Simpson did testify that he asked his 2008 co-defendant, C.J. Stewart, to bring a couple of "big, imposing guys" to Palace Station for security.

Simpson went on to say that when he arrived at Palace Station, he saw his memorabilia on a hotel bed and in a bathroom, prompting him to get emotional.

Simpson told the court that he had wanted to testify in his 2008 trial but that Galanter forbade it.   

On Monday, the judge heard from a psychologist, a friend of Simpson and Simpson's daughter. Some of the most compelling testimony came from the man who defended Simpson's co-defendant, C.J. Stewart, during the original trial - Brent Bryson.

Bryson testified the audio tapes were untrustworthy and Simpson's attorney should have objected to its use.

"Without those tapes, there was no evidence of any type of conspiracy, no evidence as to who did what, who said what," Bryson said.

New attorneys for the embattled former NFL star are trying to prove Simpson was poorly represented in his 2007 trial. Simpson maintained during the original trial he was retrieving personal items that had been stolen from him.

FOX5 legal analyst Bob Massi said despite all of Simpson's time spent in court, Wednesday will be the first time he has ever testified under oath.

"Obviously, this is his day to try to explain how he feels he was not properly represented," Massi said.

A decision may not be immediately made by the time this week's proceedings end, the Associated Press reported.

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