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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.