O J Simpson held without bail in robbery
Las Vegas, September 17, 2007
Former football star O J Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife, was arrested and held without bail in connection with a suspected armed robbery in a Las Vegas hotel room last week.
Simpson, 60, was taken into custody at the Palms hotel just off the Las Vegas strip on Sunday morning without incident and booked on suspicion of armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy and burglary, Las Vegas police said.
If convicted on all charges, Simpson could face some three decades in behind bars.
Simpson will be held without bail pending a court hearing on Thursday, Sgt. John Loretto said.
Las Vegas police on Saturday night arrested another man they believe was with the former star athlete during the suspected theft of Simpson-related sports souvenirs and other items and said they were searching for four others.
They also said they seized two handguns they believe are related to the Thursday night incident, which was reported by a sports memorabilia dealer as an armed robbery in his room at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino.
When asked if police believed Simpson was wielding a gun, Las Vegas Metro Police Lt. Clint Nichols told reporters, "We don't have any info that would lead us to believe he was armed."
Representatives for the Palms and Simpson's attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Orenthal James, or O.J., Simpson, who parlayed his fame as an athlete into a career in movies and television before the murder trial -- one of the most sensational in US history, ended his career in Hollywood, previously told police and the media he did nothing wrong in Las Vegas.
"I'm not walking around feeling sad or anything. I've done nothing wrong," he said in an interview published in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday.
Simpson told the paper that "golfing buddies and some of their friends" accompanied him to a meeting at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino to help him retrieve sports memorabilia, personal photos and other items he said had been stolen by a former sports agent.
Simpson who lives in Miami, Florida, said an auctioneer set up the meeting with the sellers. He said the men in his party were unarmed.
"I'm O.J. Simpson. How am I going to think that I'm going to rob somebody and get away with it?" he said. "You've got to understand, this ain't somebody going to steal somebody's drugs or something like that. This is somebody going to get his private (belongings) back. That's it. That's not robbery."
After he was acquitted in the murders of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, a civil court jury found Simpson responsible for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages to their families.
The former National Football League star, nicknamed "The Juice" during his playing days, has had other minor brushes with police since 1995.
Simpson's latest legal flap comes as Simpson's book "If I Did It," which includes a hypothetical account of his ex-wife's murder, was hitting store shelves. The book is No. 2 on Amazon.com's best-seller list. - Reuters