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
The model of the room where O.J. Simpson and five cronies allegedly pulled off an armed robbery, is just sitting there in the basement of the Clark County Regional Justice Center.
The court won’t let us take pictures or shoot video. Yet.
But I toured the mock up and you can see why Judge Jackie Glass pushed the jury to tour the actual crime scene at the Palace Station.
The small fake room is made up of light brown hardboard, it looks like particle board or plywood.
So the exact replica of the bed is this hardboard rectangle.
There a boxy fake armoir, where witness Tom Riccio hid a tape recorder to get audio of the purported Simpson sting.
The mock up is supposed to be to scale and it’s small.
Prosecutors are no doubt going to pound home the question ‘how could Simpson not see or know about a gun, if someone pulled one in such a small space?’. Defense attorneys objected to the whole notion that jurors were going to tour the fake room, something that looks more flimsy than the phony town they blow up at the end of “Blazing Saddles.”
Judge Glass reportedly felt the mock room was not going to work and was unimpressive.
Glass and the court worked out the jury’s tour of the Palace Station room this morning.
Before, the court apparently felt taking a jury to the Palace Station would be risky, open them up to jury tampering from being out and about.
So at one point the District Attorney’s office built the mock room.
There’s already grumbling in this courthouse about who paid for it, taxpayers?
I’ll bet Riccio, Bruce Fromong or Alfred Beardsley, the wheeler dealer witnesses in this case, could sell it to somebody.
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