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October 1st, 2008
01:14 PM ET

Key Witnesses against O.J. Accused of Extortion

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

10:45a PT
O.J. Smpson's friend testified Wednesday that two former co-defendants in the case tried to extort money from him.

Tom Scotto told the jury that alleged gunmen in the kidnapping and robbery trial, Michael McClinton and Walter Alexander, wanted 50 thousand dollars in exchange for testimony favorable to Simpson.

McClinton and Alexander made plea deals with prosecutors that could result in them receiving no prison time.

According to Scotto, he knew McClinton was a "street thug."

The witness testified McClinton threatened him saying "we (Scotto and Simpson) better come up with 50 thousand dollars or else."

Scotto also said an angry McClinton warned "I'll shoot everybody up."

Scotto owns an auto shop in Florida and was in Las Vegas last year to get married, when Simpson was arrested here on kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges.

7:50a PT

O.J. Simpson's close friend Tom Scotto is expected to testify for the defense today in the armed robbery and kidnapping trial.

Simpson arrived minutes ago with his lawyers who indicated Scotto could be on the stand for "a long time."

Simpson traveled to Las Vegas last year to attend Scotto's wedding, but was arrested before the ceremony with five other men involved in a sting at the Palace Station Hotel to recover sports memorabilia the ex-football star says was his.

Defense lawyers are expected to ask Scotto about whether former codefendants in the case allegedly suggested to him they could give favorable testimony to Simpson, if they got "help," meaning money.

The defense team for C.J. Stewart plans to call five witnesses.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Lois

    It does not matter that this was a "set-up" by Riccio or whomever. It does not matter that it was OJ's stuff, stolen from him or not. None of that matters. The whole point of this trial is, OJ took the law into his own hands, and wanted guns to be taken into the room. ("You didn't show the piece in the hallway did you?" Thanks to his own defense) There are tapes, there are several witnesses and the gun changes the whole ballgame. He was warned not to do this, according to testimony. OJ deals with criminals and lowlifes. He didn't think they would call the police. He was wrong. Had he left the guns out of this, he would have been slapped on the hand long ago and a free man. Bad judgement got several lives messed up. Almost all of them are going to jail. Over what? A few hundred bucks worth of "stuff". I feel for CJ Stewart. I am sure now he wishes he had testified. Some friend. They couldn't even help the guy with his lawyer. And wanna be wise guy Scotto should be charged with perjury, such an obvious liar.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  2. Cathy

    I am SO tired of the "poor OJ, everybody wants to use his name and get money from him" attitude. And, I'm tired of people playing the race card. What the heck is this man doing running around with these "great guy friends" of his? What is this man doing, writing some book entitled, "if I DID IT?" which gives the rest of us a stark narrative to allow us to delve into the mind of a person with a truly dark, disturbed, wacked, and twisted mind? It's really too bad his celebrity status has become so negative. But, he's done what he's done, he's hung out with who he's hung out with, he's been where he's been...and now he has to pay. WHAA! TOO DAMN BAD. We are all subject to the consequences of our actions. For some, it takes the law to make people actually accountable for them. I only hope his children strive to become better human beings than the sick creature he has become.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  3. Ron

    Karen –

    The fact that you believe that OJ will "...buy his freedom..." indicates that you (rightfully) believe the American judicial system is for sale and not for justice!

    Blacks have been saying that for years only to have whites say that that isn't so!

    *****************************
    Justice

    That Lady Justice is blind
    Is a thing to which all Blacks are wise.
    Her tattered scarf hides two festering sores,
    That once, perhaps, were eyes.

    Langston Hughes

    October 4, 2008 at 9:12 am |
  4. Marie

    In watching this all come down on Court TV I wonder if Nicole and Ron were not somewhere in the back of that room... It always comes back to bite you in the a– OJ... I hope he gets LOTS of time to think... My mom use to say ... lay down with dogs and you will come up with flea's.. OJ keeps bad company and now he will have lots of them were he's going... GOTCHA !!

    October 4, 2008 at 5:50 am |
  5. Karen

    Poor OJ? Please!!! He was stealing things that belonged to the Goldman's. He's a loser and he'll buy his freedom.

    October 2, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  6. tater

    Guilty or not this time makes no differance to me. This trial is a joke.The real crux of the matter is that the police were just waiting for a chance to nail O.J. In my opinion the joke was years ago in the murder trial. The man should be doing life in prison for murdering his wife. Aquitted or not you cannot tell me he had nothing to do with it.If it was me I would've already been executed. I hope he gets what he deserves.

    October 2, 2008 at 10:13 am |
  7. Ray

    This trial is being tried by the judge, right from the beginning she would taint this by an all white jury, then she grandstands and tries to make the defense attorneys look bad by yelling at them and always overruling there objections and sustains the DA'S objections. She sucks up to this jury so bad hoping for a conviction that this will end up in an appeals court if there found guilty. This judge should be reported to the judicial tenure commission for her bad conduct, she makes our legal system look bad.

    October 2, 2008 at 8:58 am |
  8. Dorothy Maletto

    Now the truth comes out, even Ricco said he thought OJ was
    being set up by the two thugs. Everyone wants to GET OJ, but
    lets face it, this is not the case. INNOCENT I say.

    OJ, you need to pick better friends, One or two REAL FRIENDS
    is better than 6-8 so called friends that are only in it for the
    money than can make off your name.

    Wish you the best OJ

    October 1, 2008 at 9:39 pm |
  9. John

    Theres no way that there is not more tapes ,They said that they coulden't get it to work ,bullxxxx the video they have shows the truth they should have had somebody from the store show how easy they are to use all you do is push one button unbelivable or are they really that dumb I think so

    October 1, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  10. Jay

    Ron and Dianne I totally agree with your comments. The Prosecutors are rewarding criminals and extortions. This trial is a joke, how can the people of America have faith in a judicial system that would encourage and reward criminals. This was a clear set up by Tom Riccio and he was not charge with a crime. He set up this whole mess and he is a free men, making money at OJ expense. All these actors set up OJ. Poor OJ was the scapegoat.

    October 1, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  11. Dianne

    Is this truly the best justice system in the world? I think not! No one accepts the verdict. Prosecutors manipulate and offer deals to further set up and frame defendants. The entire event is making a mockery of the justice system. Where do these characters come from and how do you find guys like Rogers and Owens who are willing to put their reputations and careers on the line for potential notoriety. Judge Glass makes her bias obvious. She detests the defense and so likes the prosecutor. Are these the typical judges ruling the courts today? So sad. One major question of McClinton and Alexander is why would they be so quick to enter the room with guns? Did they have no independent judgement to decide right from wrong? They knew they had guns, so they knew they would be committing armed robbery even if the others didn't. Teenagers in this situation would not get the same treatment. They would not get away with saying, " Well, he told me to do it!" What a joke - again! Let everyone go - save a little face (pride).

    October 1, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  12. Ron

    From this article:
    Tom Scotto told the jury that alleged gunmen in the kidnapping and robbery trial, Michael McClinton and Walter Alexander, wanted 50 thousand dollars in exchange for testimony favorable to Simpson.

    So obviously these guys took the "other" deal from Prosecutors and provided testimony unfavorable to Simpson, in exchange for their freedom.

    Even though these (NON-BIASED, PATRIOTIC, FAIR, CREDIBLE & HONEST?) Las Vegas Prosecutors KNOW these testimonies are tainted, they're still willing to coach and educate these thugs on how to best tell these lies so as to manipulate the jurors into a guilty verdict with the highest probability of success..Tsk, Tsk, Tsk.

    October 1, 2008 at 3:57 pm |

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