Co-defendant seeks Simpson trial delay


The co-defendant in the upcoming O.J. Simpson robbery case will ask the Nevada Supreme Court to postpone the start of the Sept. 8 trial.

Robert Lucherini, a lawyer for Clarence "C.J." Stewart, told District Judge Jackie Glass on Monday that he would ask the high court for the delay after she denied his request.

"Ask me for a stay, then I will give you my ruling, then you can go to the Supreme Court," Glass told him.

Stewart's lawyers had asked Glass to postpone the trial until the Supreme Court hears his appeal on splitting his trial from Simpson's.

Stewart contends he will not receive a fair trial if he is tried with Simpson, the former football star who gained infamy after his 1995 trial in the slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

Simpson and Stewart are charged with robbing two sports memorabilia dealers a year ago in a Palace Station hotel room. Four co-defendants already have pleaded guilty in the case and have agreed to testify for the prosecution.

As part of their case, prosecutors plan to play audio recordings made by people involved in the incident.

Kenneth Marr, a forensic audio examiner for the FBI who reviewed the recordings for authenticity, was scheduled to testify at trial. Because he was going on vacation in mid-September, he testified in court Monday as if he were in front of a jury.

Marr had given his name and title when Glass stopped him and said she was worried that media coverage of his testimony might prejudice the jury pool.

She initially ruled that print reporters and truTV, which was broadcasting live, could remain in the courtroom but not report the details of Marr's testimony.

"I don't want to exclude you, and I also don't like putting a muzzle on the media," said Glass, a former television news reporter.

After a brief recess, she closed the courtroom to the public, saying she wanted to take an "abundance of caution."

The Review-Journal has challenged her order and is asking for transcripts of Marr's testimony to be made public.

"The courts are built by the taxpayers," Review-Journal Editor Thomas Mitchell said. "The judges are paid by the taxpayers. And the taxpayers are darned well entitled to see what goes on inside without some black-robed master telling us potential jurors are too easily bamboozled to actually be exposed to the facts."

 

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