* O.J. SIMPSON SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS
O.J. SIMPSON has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his part in a sports
memorabilia heist at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last year
The former American football icon-turned-actor stood silently between
attorneys Gabriel Grasso and Yale Galanter in dark blue prison attire as the
sentencing was read in Las Vegas minutes ago (08Dec08).
During pre-sentencing, Galanter accepted his client's actions were "beyond
stupid" but Simpson felt he was doing the right thing in attempting to reclaim
items he considered stolen from him.
The attorney told the court, "The court should be lenient... because he
didn't go into a bank and rob somebody; this wasn't a planned, stealthful,
criminal, evil mind act. What it was was a highly emotional, stupid act that
violated the law.
"If Mr. Simpson would have known... that his action would violate the laws of
the state of Nevada, he would have never have done it... Mr Simpson is
remorseful, he's apologetic, he's sorry."
Prior to sentencing, an emotional Simpson, who was not expected to speak,
fought back tears as he told the court he was "sorry and somewhat confused,"
about his conviction, adding, "I came here (to Las Vegas) for a wedding; I
didn't come here to reclaim property. I was told it was here... In no way did I
mean to hurt anybody, to steal anything from anyone.
"I wanted my daughter... (late wife) Ms. Brown gave her her mother's wedding
ring. (It was) stolen... My oldest son... wanted a picture in the Oval Office
with (President) Gerald Ford when he was five years old - stolen. All of these
things are gone... I just wanted my personal things.
"I didn't know I was doing anything illegal. I thought I was confronting
friends and retrieving my property... I'm sorry for all of it."
All but one of Simpson's associates testified against the star during the
trial. Co-defendant Clarence Stewart was also sentenced to serve prison time.
Nevada judge Jackie Glass denied motions for bail pending appeals, stating
"both defendants face mandatory sentences in this case; I believe they're both
Simpson was convicted on 12 charges, including armed robbery, on 3 October
(08) - 13 years to the day since Simpson was acquitted of the double murder of
his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Two of those
charges were dismissed prior to Friday's sentencing.
Goldman's father Fred and sister Kim, as well as members of Simpson's
immediate family, were in court for the sentencing. (KL/WN)