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October 4th, 2008
10:19 AM ET

O.J. Trial: Simpson got no last look

The verdicts are read in O.J. Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping trail.
The verdicts are read in O.J. Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping trail.

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

The O.J. Simpson three-ring, huge crowds, big show, never materialized during his Las Vegas trial.
"Juice" was just a media afterthought, with his men behaving badly case buried by election stories and dispatches of an economic meltdown.

The media parking lot was two thirds empty.

So no O.J. Media circus under bright lights, but instead a twisted sideshow seemingly rolled in off a flatbed truck with the freaks climbing onto the unpaved road.

The witness stand became the dimly lit stage for all manner of jaw-dropping mutants.
They took their turns - obscenity gushing gunmen, double-talking hucksters, fawning admirers.
All of them linked somehow to the formerly acquitted major football and minor acting star.
The witness stories meandered like ivy grows, just moving forward and tangled.
But the freaks told a tale that sent Simpson directly to jail, do not pass go and get the hell out of Judge Jackie Glass' courtroom.

Walk out of the wooden front doors room courtroom 15A and you look upon a picture postcard of the Las Vegas strip.

Simpson got no last look.

There was no last bombastic walk before the cameras in handcuffs either.

They hauled perhaps the world's most infamous defendant through a side door, a tunnel and into jail across the street.

The Friday Night in Las Vegas was warm and windy and filled with theories of superstition and bad karma.
A Las Vegas jury threw the book at Simpson, knocking him out exactly 13 years after he was acquitted of double murder.

The jury deliberated 13 hours.

There wasn't a black cat in the courtroom, but there was a blackout, a momentary flicker of darkness in the side show tent when the power went out.

FULL POST

October 3rd, 2008
04:34 PM ET

O.J. Trial: Judge jokes with kids, Jury deliberates

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

10:04a PT

Judge Jackie Glass, wearing jeans and a blue polo shirt, gave a brief tour of her courtroom Friday morning to two adults and three young children.

The judge showed the two nine-year-old cub scouts and a seven-year-old girl her gavel and bench.
Glass joked about what she tells lawyers from her chair.

"They yell objection," Glass explained. "Then you yell sustained. Now sit down.. Or no, no, no."
The cub scouts were visiting the court as part of a quest to get a citizenship patch.

Glass has kept a lid on the high-powered attorneys in the trial, often reprimanding them for their behavior.

9:24a PT
The jury in the 0.J. Simpson robbery trial has begun deliberating on the fifteenth floor of the Clark County Regional Justice Center.

The panel of nine women and three men includes one Latina. None of the jurors are African-American.

October 2nd, 2008
02:48 PM ET

O.J. to CNN: No comment on the trial, plenty to say about Vegas

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

In the halls of the Clark County Regional Justice Center, you can run into O.J. Simpson. He won't answer any questions about his trial.

But he will talk about his affinity for Las Vegas.

"The people in Las Vegas have just been tremendous. This is the first time I have come here that I have spent time off the strip in the neighborhoods. The people have been fantastic.

"A lot of people think I might move to Las Vegas. The truth is when I decided to move from L.A., It was between Las Vegas and Miami. Miami worked out well. Both kids (Nicole Brown Simpson's children with O.J.:Justin, 20 years old, and Sydney, 22 years old) are honor students and are in college.

"I don't want to say where they are. People at school don't know I'm they're dad. I was walking with my daughter (Sydney) and some radio guy says 'O.J. was spotted on campus with his new main squeeze and they just keep getting younger and younger.' They had no idea it was my daughter."

"But I now have a new respect for the citizens of Las Vegas. I like Las Vegas - great golf courses, great restaurants."

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.

September 29th, 2008
06:30 PM ET

Witness: Simpson was "set up"

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

The O.J. Simpson trial adjourned until Wednesday morning in observance of the Jewish Holiday, but not before "set up" was again uttered from the witness stand.

Alfred Beardsley, in handcuffs and prison garb, reiterated that he thought Simpson was "set up" in the alleged armed robbery and kidnapping at the Palace Station Hotel.

Beardsley was recalled by the defense and has maintained he was not a victim of the alleged robbery to get sports memorabilia.

Beardsley was imprisoned for a parole violation.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • O.J. Simpson Trial • Paul Vercammen • T1
September 29th, 2008
04:32 PM ET

Defense at O.J. trial unveils witness list

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

The defense in the O.J. Simpson kidnapping and armed robbery trial tipped off which witnesses it may soon begin calling.

Simpson defense attorney Yale Galanter revealed in open court that four of his witnesses include Las Vegas police officers Rod Hunt and C. Tucker.

Hunt previously testified for the prosecution.

The Simpson defense team will also call Simpson's close friend Tom Scotto.

FULL POST

September 29th, 2008
02:07 PM ET

O.J. Trial: Secret recordings

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

Jurors in the O.J. Simpson armed robbery trial strained Monday morning to hear the secret recording made by alleged gunman Michael McClinton.

Simpson defense attorney Gabe Grasso replayed the tape in cross examination and questioned the reliability of a transcript of the recording.

One of the most disputed interpretations of the recording, did Simpson say "you didn't pull your piece (gun) in the hall?"

McClinton hid the tape recorder and tried to capture Simpson talking at a restaurant after the sting at the Palace Station Hotel.
FULL POST

September 26th, 2008
04:34 PM ET

Were Vegas Cops out to get O.J?

Editor’s Note:

O.J. Simpson is on trial for robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial.

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Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

Were Vegas Cops out to get O.J?

That's what his defense team wants you to believe.

And on cross examination of lead detective Andy Caldwell Friday, defense lawyer Gabe Grasso was able to play eyebrow raising secret recordings after the alleged armed robbery.

The recording of police in the room contains expletives and unflattering remarks seemingly about Simpson.

FULL POST

September 26th, 2008
02:49 PM ET

O.J. Trial: All white jury?

Editor’s Note:

O.J. Simpson is on trial for robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial.

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Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

10:26a PT

The Clark County Court information office reports, the O.J. Simpson jury is made up of 11 white jurors and one female "hispanic juror of Mexican decent."

The information was derived from looking at the juror questionnaires, according to court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer.

Reports of the panel being "all white" had been called into question and CNN and other news organizations had been pressing the court to reveal details of the jurors make up from the questionnaires.

The main panel is made up of nine women and three men.

The alternate panel includes a Black male and a Black female.

September 26th, 2008
11:20 AM ET

O.J. Trial: "All is sad in Mudville"

Editor’s Note:

O.J. Simpson is on trial for robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial.

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Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

7:55a PT

O.J. Simpson entered the courthouse in Las Vegas Friday for what's expected to be an all out attack on him from the witness stand.

The prosecution in the Simpson armed robbery and kidnapping trial is looking for one of its final witnesses, gunman Michael "Spencer" McClintion, to blast away at the celebrity defendant.

Witnesses in the case say McClinton pulled a gun and threatened victims in the alleged armed robbery at the Palace Station Hotel.

The prosecution is looking for McClinton to testify he was simply following a plan laid out by Simpson.

The defense has maintained Simpson knew nothing about guns and had no control over McClinton heard swearing and screaming and during the secret audio recording of the incident.

When Simpson arrived at the courthouse Friday, he said "all is sad in Mudville, mighty USC struck out."

Simpson was alluding to his alma mater's stunning loss Thursday night to Oregon State in a nationally televised college football game.

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