Simpson back in LV court


O.J. Simpson's lawyer knows today's arraignment for the former football star should be brief -- but not that it necessarily will be.

"If this goes like all other standard arraignments, it will last about five minutes," attorney Yale Galanter said.

But, Galanter added, "There's nothing in this case that has been standard."

Court officials said it should take about 30 minutes for Simpson and two other men to appear before a judge, enter pleas and have a trial date set in the alleged kidnapping and armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in a casino hotel room.

Simpson, Clarence "C.J." Stewart and Charles "Charlie" Ehrlich are expected to plead not guilty to the 12 charges lodged against them Nov. 14 after a 31/2-day preliminary hearing, which featured sometimes stunning testimony from witnesses and three former co-defendants who took plea deals in return for their testimony.

Defense lawyers may challenge an amended complaint filed Monday listing Stewart and Ehrlich, but not Simpson, as possible witnesses.

Lawyers Robert Lucherini for Stewart, and John Moran Jr. for Ehrlich did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

A spokesman for District Attorney David Roger said co-defendants are routinely listed as possible witnesses in criminal cases and that Simpson's name would be added to the list.

"It was a clerical oversight," spokesman Dan Kulin said.

The new document makes no changes in the charges against the three men, but drops former co-defendant Michael McClinton as a defendant. McClinton, who testified that he brought guns to the Sept. 13 confrontation with sports collectibles dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, is on the list of 78 potential witnesses.

District Judge Jackie Glass must juggle schedules for prosecutors, defense lawyers and herself in picking a trial date.

Galanter said he will seek a date "sometime next year," but declined to be more specific.

Simpson, 60, of Miami, has maintained that he intended only to retrieve items that had been stolen from him by a former agent, including photographs, awards and the suit he wore the day he was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

 

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