DA: OJ shouldn’t be released during NV appeal
Associated Press Writer
LAS VEGAS (AP) – O.J. Simpson poses a flight risk and shouldn’t be allowed out of prison while the Nevada Supreme Court decides whether to overturn his conviction in an armed hotel room heist, a prosecutor said Friday.
“Criminal defendants are rarely, if ever, released from prison pending the appeal process,” Clark County District Attorney David Roger said in a statement after filing documents late Thursday opposing bail.
“Mr. Simpson is a convicted criminal who does not deserve preferential treatment,” Roger said. He said he had no doubt Simpson’s conviction will be upheld.
The 61-year-old Simpson is serving nine to 33 years for kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon in the gunpoint robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room in September 2007. He is housed at Lovelock Correctional Center, 90 miles northeast of Reno.
A lawyer for the former football player, actor and celebrity criminal defendant said Friday that if Simpson is allowed out on bail, he will “absolutely make every court appearance that’s expected of him.”
“O.J. surrendered his passport,” attorney Malcolm LaVergne said. “He’s not going anywhere.”
Simpson’s lawyers appealed Simpson’s conviction and sentence May 26, and two days later filed a request to let him post bail. No date has been set for a ruling on either request.
Roger urged the state high court, which is Nevada’s only appellate court, to keep Simpson locked up, citing the length of Simpson’s sentence and his admission in January 2008 that he violated a court order by trying to contact a co-defendant before trial.
At the time, Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass doubled Simpson’s bail to $250,000.
Roger’s filing also referred to unproved allegations that Simpson gave his NFL Hall of Fame ring to Alfred Beardsley, one of the robbery victims, to influence the memorabilia dealer’s testimony.
Beardsley testified before a California judge last December that he did not have the ring, and denied county district attorney investigator William Falkner’s account that he received it in return for changing his testimony.