Saturday, October 4, 2008
Just before 11 p.m. last night, the verdict was read by the Jury foreman.
A panel of nine women and three men deliberated more than thirteen hours before rendering their decision.
Mr. Simpson, and his accomplice - Clarence Stewart - were convicted on twelve counts stemming from a much-publicized armed robbery and kidnapping incident which took place last year in Las Vegas (NV).
After the verdict was read, the Heisman Trophy winner was cuffed by a deputy and led away to await sentencing.
Although there were three weeks of testimony to sift over, insiders say it was a handful of secret audio recordings, that probably turned the screws on O. J. Simpson and his partner in crime, Clarence Stewart.
The tapes were damning, for sure.
The defense attorney's argument that the altercation - which took place in a hotel room in the gambling mecca in the desert oasis - was simply a botched attempt to recover memorabilia stolen from Mr. Simpson just didn't fly.
"You may all say he didn't use common sense. But the real issue is whether he had criminal intent to commit a crime," attorney Yale Galanter argued in closing statements.
The prosecutors, on the other hand, managed to convince the jury that the armed robbery was masterminded by Simpson who called upon five disreputable ruffians to carry out his nefarious plan.
The state established in the eyes of the jury that Simpson and his cohorts robbed the victims at gunpoint after they were tricked into thinking they were going to savor a windfall sale with a wealthy collector.
Chris Owens, the State prosecutor on the case, convincingly argued that "they thought they could spin it" because - after all - it was Simpson's stuff anyway.
The jury found differently.
O. J. maintained he never saw any guns during the shake-down - in spite of the fact witnesses testified at trial that they packed two revolvers that day - a .45 caliber Ruger and a .22 caliber Beretta - at Simpson's request.
But, it was probably a twenty-six minute encounter which was slyly taped after the ballsy robbery, that probably did the former NFL player in.
One of the gunman met with Simpson at a local restaurant after the robbery and was questioned as to whether he "pulled out the piece" in the hotel hallway.
Simpson was anxiety-stricken over the possibility that the overt act may have been captured on the Hotel's security cameras for future referenc.
Clearly, Simpson was trying to determine if there was any evidence on tape establishing the brandishing of guns, so he could tailor his defense accordingly.
During the course of the trial, friends and business associates turned against Simpson to protect their own hides.
In return for becoming state witnesses, four of the accused were permitted to plead guilty on lesser charges.
The counts of armed robbery and kidnapping against Simpson and Stewart carry potential life sentences.