Friday, December 5, 2008

Uh....OJ? Buh-Bye!!!!!! Sweeeeet!!!

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- A Las Vegas judge sentenced fallen gridiron great O.J. Simpson to at least 15 years in prison for leading an armed confrontation last year at a Las Vegas hotel room over sports memorabilia.

O.J. Simpson was sentenced to at 15 years in prison, and could be eligible for parole in nine.

Simpson could become eligible for parole in about nine years. Grimacing, Simpson was escorted from the courtroom in shackles.
Judge Jackie Glass gave Simpson a tongue-lashing before passing sentence.
"Earlier in this case, at a bail hearing, I said to Mr. Simpson I didn't know if he was arrogant, ignorant or both," Glass said. "During the trial and through this proceeding I got the answer, and it was both."
She stressed that the sentence was not "payback for anything else," apparently referring to Simpson's acquittal 13 years ago in the slayings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Watch the judge say the sentence isn't about the past »
His voice shaking, Simpson had apologized in court and insisted he was merely trying to recover property that had been stolen from his family. He was convicted of leading a group of armed men into a room at Palace Station Hotel and Casino, where they planned to take sports memorabilia from dealers Bruce Fromong and Al Beardsley.
"I stand here today sorry, somewhat confused. I feel apologetic to people of state of Nevada," Simpson began. At times, he appeared to be fighting tears as he spoke. Watch Simpson's apology »
The judge said Simpson's contrite words in court were not as powerful as his angry words, as caught on tape, during the confrontation.
"Everything in this case was on tape," Glass said. "The evidence in this case was overwhelming."
She continued, "You went to the room. You took guns. You used force. You took property, and in this state, that amounts to robbery with the use of a deadly weapon."
Simpson, who wore blue jail scrubs to court for Friday's sentencing, did not testify during his trial. He was convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and assault on October 3 -- 13 years to the day after his Los Angeles murder trial ended with an acquittal.
Simpson's tone became more impassioned as he insisted he never intended to intimidate people or steal property.
"I didn't want to steal anything from anybody," Simpson said, adding that among the items he sought to recover were a wedding ring for his daughter and family photos for his son.
"I just wanted my personal things. I was stupid. I'm sorry. I didn't know I was doing anything illegal. I thought I was confronting friends. I thought I was retrieving my things. I didn't mean to hurt anybody and I didn't mean to steal anything," Simpson said.
Simpson and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart could have received life sentences for their roles in the fracas. Stewart's sentence was similar to Simpson's, except that he becomes eligible for parole sooner, in about 7½ years.
Attorneys for Simpson, a 61-year-old former running back, asked for a sentence of no more than six years. But a pre-sentencing report recommended an 18-year term, and Glass -- who cut Simpson little slack during the trial -- had wide leeway in sentencing.
Prosecutor David Rogers argued that Simpson was "the ringleader, so to speak, in this case ... he chose to use force and violence to take this property."
"This case could have turned out a lot worse," Rogers added. "Who knows what might have happened, and it's all because of Mr. Simpson."
Defense attorneys, meanwhile, asked Glass for leniency.
"This isn't one of those kidnappings where you have people egregiously detained, tied up, pushed into a safe," Gabe Grasso said. Another Simpson attorney, Yale Galanter, added that Simpson's actions were "beyond stupid" and that Simpson is remorseful.
Four men charged with Simpson cut deals with the prosecution and testified against the 1968 Heisman Trophy winner and his co-defendant, C.J. Stewart. One testified that Simpson asked him to bring a gun to the encounter.
Simpson's attorneys said they plan to appeal, arguing that a fair trial was nearly impossible after the 1995 murder trial that left him a celebrity outcast. Follow a timeline of Simpson's legal woes »
Simpson was found liable in civil court for the death of his former wife and Goldman. Since the judgment, the Goldman family has tirelessly pursued Simpson's assets.
Although Simpson insisted in court that he meant to retrieve some items to give to the Goldmans, the judge pointed to his words, as captured on the tape: "You didn't want those items falling into the hands of the Goldmans. You made reference on the tape to them as the gold-diggers." Watch Fred and Kim Goldman react »
"If our efforts for all these years of pushing him drove him to commit armed robbery in Vegas, great!" Fred Goldman told reporters after the hearing.
"This monster is where he belongs -- behind bars." Sphere: Related Content


Anonymous said...

My, but you are starting winter out in a FEISTY state, girl!

Annie said...

I have a hard time with people who think it's ok to do what he has done....arrogant and ignorant, the Judge in this case called him....I agree....

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