Dismissal of appeal urged for Simpson co-defendant


O.J. Simpson's convicted co-defendant got a fair trial and wasn't a victim of "spillover prejudice" as he alleges in his appeal, a prosecutor told the state Supreme Court on Friday.

"A defendant 'is not entitled to a perfect trial, but only a fair trial,' " wrote Clark County District Attorney David Roger, citing state and federal case law supporting his position that Clarence "C.J." Stewart should remain in prison for his role in a September 2007 armed hotel room heist.

Stewart's lawyer, Brent Bryson, did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Bryson still has a chance to answer the district attorney's 46-page response to Stewart's initial request for the court to overturn Stewart's conviction.

The former Simpson golfing buddy claims he should have been tried separately from the football star, whose acquittal in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in Los Angeles was dubbed the "trial of the century."

Stewart also maintains that evidence was improperly used against him, and that the jury foreman hid a bias toward Simpson until after the pair were convicted and sentenced.

"Only if this court is willing to concede that Simpson's name alone renders a fair trial impossible can Stewart's claim of prejudice warrant consideration," the district attorney said.

"Here, Stewart received a fair trial," Roger said. "All the errors alleged in Stewart's (appeal) are without merit and do not warrant a reversal of Stewart's convictions."

Simpson and Stewart were each found guilty of kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges last year in the armed confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in a Palace Station hotel room.

Simpson maintained he was trying to retrieve personal mementoes, family photos and items that had been stolen from him.

Simpson, 62, is serving nine to 33 years at Lovelock Correctional Center, 90 miles northeast of Reno. His appeal is being considered separately.

Stewart, 55, is serving 71/2 to 27 years at Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City. He has lost repeated efforts before, during and after trial to have his case severed from Simpson's.

 

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