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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.
CNN Senior Producer
Simpson gave the thumbs up sign as opening statements are set to begin in his kidnapping and armed robbery trial.
Simpson was flanked by his attorneys and a platoon of law enforcement officers.
O.J. Simpson ambled into the Clark County Regional Justice Center without the media and public frenzy that followed him for his initial arrest on kidnapping and armed robbery charges.
Outside the courthouse, the customary menagerie of eccentric onlookers for all things O.J. seemed to evaporate in the Las Vegas heat.
The cast of characters dwindled to a wheelchair bound man in a sequined Santa Claus outfit and loquacious demonstrator with a bullhorn.
Perhaps the lip-cracking temperatures headed to a predicted high of 100 degrees kept the chaos to a minimum.
Others outside the courthouse speculated media interest in Simpson faded because of other news including: Wall Street woes, the aftermath of Hurricane Ike and the U.S. Election.
The sprawling Media village that sprung up for the Simpson preliminary hearing looked to be two thirds smaller, with some parking spaces available and the row of live camera positions outside the courthouse half empty.
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