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O.J. Simpson files appeal in Palace Station robbery case


O.J. Simpson is asking the Nevada Supreme Court to reverse a judge’s ruling denying him a new trial in a 2007 robbery case, in an appeal filed in the wee hours Thursday.

Simpson is in the midst of serving a nine- to 33-year prison term after he was convicted of 10 charges for robbing two men of sports memorabilia in September 2007. He argued he was simply recovering his own property, including photographs, when he went to the Palace Station hotel room.

The appeal motion, written by defense lawyer Patricia Palm, is longer than the Supreme Court allows by about 5,000 words. The high court must approve the longer version, which it has done in the past in other cases.

Normally appeals are immediately posted on the Supreme Court’s website for public review, but Simpson’s had not posted Thursday because of the length.

The appeal has more than 30 appendices to it, the Supreme Court’s website shows.

In November, Judge Linda Bell rejected the notorious former football player’s contention that his trial lawyer in the robbery case, Yale Galanter, was ineffective, had financial and legal conflicts and misadvised the 66-year-old inmate.

Bell’s ruling came six months after a week-long hearing where Simpson testified Galanter told him he could legally take his property back and would represent him for free.

“All grounds in the petition lack merit and, consequently are denied,” Bell said in a 100-page decision.

Bell ruled Simpson “failed to demonstrate that counsel experienced an actual conflict of interest that substantially impacted counsel’s performance at trial … that the State withheld exculpatory evidence … that appellate and trial counsel were ineffective or that any deficient performance by counsel resulted in prejudice,” the ruling stated.

In her ruling, Bell said the evidence was overwhelming against Simpson and that there was no indication that it was a close verdict.

Meanwhile, Simpson is in the midst of serving one to six years on a weapons enhancement for the kidnapping count. He has four to 18 years left on his prison term on the remaining counts.

Simpson is imprisoned at Lovelock Correctional Center, about 100 miles northeast of Reno.

Inmate #1027820 has had a “positive record,” the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners said in July, which included his participation in parole programs.

Following his Hall of Fame professional football career, Simpson became one of the most popular former athletes in America, regularly hawking products in humorous TV commercials or starring in movies, such as “The Naked Gun.”

That is, until Simpson was acquitted by a Los Angeles jury in 1995 of the 1994 deaths of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman in what was dubbed “the trial of the century.”

Testimony at the May hearing revealed that most of the items taken in the 2007 robbery were found to be the football player’s. The items were returned to Simpson and, unless sold, were not subject to satisfy a $33.5 million civil judgment against him for the deaths of his ex-wife and Goldman.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @fjmccabe

 

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