O.J. Simpson Expected to Testify in Bid for New Trial
(CNN) — O.J. Simpson is expected to take the stand Wednesday in his effort to get a new trial on robbery, assault and kidnapping charges from 2007.
“He didn’t testify in the first trial and he wants to tell his story. He’s anxious about it,” attorney Osmaldo Fumo said Tuesday, the first day of the hearing in Las Vegas.
Simpson, who is serving a 33-year prison term, argued in court papers that bad legal advice led to his arrest and conviction in a 2007 confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers.
Simpson, 65, was convicted of leading a group of associates into a room at the Palace Station hotel and casino and using threats, guns and force to take back the items from the two dealers.
The onetime NFL star has accused his lawyer during that trial, Yale Galanter, of having a conflict of interest and of failing to mount an effective defense.
Simpson argues Galanter counseled him that it would be okay for him to take back memorabilia he believed had been stolen from him, “so long as there would be no trespass and no physical force used against the persons with the property.”
He also argues Galanter prevented him from testifying on his own behalf, leaving nothing to challenge evidence put forward by prosecutors of criminal intent and other issues.
The Nevada Supreme Court upheld the conviction in 2010. Prosecutors say there is no evidence of conflict of interest and Simpson’s claims are “without merit.”
Simpson, who played in the NFL from 1969 to 1979, was acquitted in a criminal trial in the 1994 deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. A civil jury later slapped him with a $33 million wrongful-death judgment.
He is eligible for parole in the 2007 case in 2017.
CNN’s Ted Rowlands and Matt Smith contributed to this report.
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