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September 15th, 2008
01:13 PM ET

O.J. Simpson trial begins

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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.

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

7:57am PT
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.

8:48am PT
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.

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Francis McCarthy

    Anderson Copper, I'm a big fan of you 360 show and all your work on CNN.
    OJ Simpson. This man is a joke and making all Amercians look like a joke. The man gets off free after killing his wife and now this BS. What a JOKE. All the guy has done for the past 14 years after killing his wife and her boyfriend is play golf and take millions in cash from back door for signings. WHAT A JOKE. Put this thug behind bar for life. Great idea but it will never happen. Going to show if your in the U.S, Canada or any where else. Money talks. Very sad but so true.

    September 15, 2008 at 11:24 pm |
  2. Ella

    I feel if this had been anyother man, especially if he is white, about something like this, he wouldn't be on trial. This is merely a setup to punish O J for what the haters really want him punished for, which is, the killing of Nicole Brown Simpson and the man she was with. Why is the law allowing a man to be put on trial because of something a theif or thugs say. This doesn't happen to no one, except it applies to putting away a black man. I bet the courts wouldn't allow black thugs or theives to put a white man away.

    No one is messing with this Blakely man and he was a celebity, who was accused of killing his wife and he was freed. Where is his haters?

    September 15, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  3. Ella

    OJ is harassed and treated this way because he is black, no other reason. He was accused of killing a white woman. Has any black men ever gone free? I mean really free without hassle? There are O J haters and that's the way it's going to be, it doesn't matter what happen. I hope this mess is cleared up . The ones should be on trial has made a bargin with the prosecutors. Isn't that something, these men are going free all because the prosecutor want to put O J in prison. What's so bad about this is, the real dangerous ones are still walking free but this doesn't bother the O J haters. What about these other men walking around free

    September 15, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  4. bill brady

    OJ you are going to get yours!

    September 15, 2008 at 7:15 pm |
  5. Mediaman

    Here's a man who got away with cold-blooded murder- why shouldn't he be smiling? Does anyone think he cares about some trivial little gun charge? He'll laugh and smile all the way to the next golf course- and why not- convicted or not, he'll probably remain the Juice-on-the-loose. His lying, sleazeball lawyer will say or do anything to keep the payday coming from this killer. OJ the murderer was acquitted by a jury of HIS peers. If Robert Blake sat in front of that bunch, he'd be spending his remaining years rotting in prison and rightfully so. Blake is no better than Simpson, Phil Spector and the rest of the celebrity murderers walking freely on our streets and breathing the air of freedom. I don't care what color your skin is....if you take the life of another, you need to pay for your crime. Maybe justice won't be meted out in this life, but rest assured that Nicole and Ron will have their justice in the next life.

    September 15, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  6. barbara oconnor

    I watched the whole Simpson trial in 1995 and consequently I feel he should have been acquitted. But this is not the case today. todays' trial he should not be charged for getting back his personal belongings that someone stole from him. Whether he was going to give them to the Goldman family or not, they are still his things. Although he is a clebrity, he should not be looked at as one. society is judging him for what happened in the past. DON'T DO THIS. We are all equal and all should have a fair trial regardless. I feel like O.J. brought his people to protect him in case the ones in the motel room had weapons. He was protecting hisself. He was not stealing from his own self. He only wanted his things back and this was his way of getting them back. I mean come on. lol I wish everyone would leave this poor guy alone. Society looks at him like he is a piece of trash. god made us all equal and we should all respect that. Society is very evil today. If he was not a celebrity, this publicity would not even be heard of. We all know that.

    September 15, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  7. Paul From Texas

    Sorry OJ is just a FOOL and should be put away at least for a while so he can see his faults in the metal mirror of his cell everyday. He no longer has Johny to get him out of this mess now does he. God rest Johny's soul.

    September 15, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  8. Heather

    On principle I will not watch the trial. I refuse. The last time was bad enough and Im sure he loves the attention.

    September 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  9. MW

    cess- He lost the civil trial.

    September 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  10. Jenny Rome Ga

    Ah finally the real swine emerges.

    September 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  11. cess

    It's funny, how in America you can win a trial and still be convicted. But that's only for people of color because Ropert blake gets to live his life.

    September 15, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  12. Jeff Martinez

    I don't understand how Simpson can live with himself and smile all the time. If my wife was murdered I would want to find who killed her. Apparently he doesn't care... probably because he stares at the murderer everyday he looks in the mirror. I seriously hope he gets convicted this time, and maybe this time around he will write a book this time called "Yes I did it. Twice"

    September 15, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  13. Rahni, Connecticut

    Some one please put that idiot behind bars! The guy is crazy.

    Rahni, Connecticut

    September 15, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  14. MW

    Maybe we will be reading about the Palin trial next.

    September 15, 2008 at 1:15 pm |