AP Photo/Ethan Miller, Pool
Published Friday, Oct. 22, 2010 | 10:13 a.m.
Updated Friday, Oct. 22, 2010 | 11:09 a.m.
CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of former football great O.J. Simpson, convicted of 11 counts involving taking items from memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.
The court, however, ordered a new trial for Clarence Stewart, who was convicted with Simpson. It said Stewart should have been granted a separate trial.
Simpson and five other men attempted to regain what Simpson believed was his personal property in September 2007 in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison and a maximum of 33 years.
The Supreme Court, in a 24-page opinion, said evidence showed Simpson and his accomplices devised a plan to lure memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Al Beardsley to a room in the Palace Station hotel-casino.
Simpson’s plan was to get both men to the room under the false pretense of orchestrating a memorabilia sale, the court said.
“When Simpson and Clarence Stewart and the rest of the men came through the door, (Michael) McClinton had his gun out and both victims were directed to stop talking on the phone and get their backs to the wall and not move," the court said.
The court said Simpson yelled for nobody to leave the room and accused the two men to stealing his items.
Simpson was convicted of conspiracies to commit a crime, kidnapping and robbery; and burglary, kidnapping, robbery with use of a deadly weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Simpson, now 63, is serving his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center. Stewart, 56, is at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City.
The court rejected seven claims by Simpson that his convictions should be overturned. He argued the prosecution committed misconduct during the trial by excusing two potential jurors who were black and eliciting testimony by intimidation of a witness. He also claimed there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of kidnapping.
But the court upheld the rulings of District Judge Jackie Glass. The court found, however, that Glass was wrong in refusing to grant Stewart a separate trial.
Stewart received the same sentence as Simpson.