Simpson case witness alleges threats


A witness in the O.J. Simpson armed robbery case has accused one of the alleged victims of harassing and threatening him, his business and his family.

Collectibles broker Thomas Riccio filed a Los Angeles police complaint accusing memorabilia dealer Alfred Beardsley of "criminal threats" by telephone and text message, Riccio's lawyer said Wednesday.

Beardsley's lawyer said Beardsley was taken into custody by California parole officials in Santa Ana, Calif., after Riccio's complaint was filed.

Lawyer Jack Neil Swickard denied any wrongdoing by Beardsley but said he was told Beardsley will be jailed for at least a week, depending on the results of the parole investigation.

The parole arrest is the second in recent months for Beardsley, 47, of Burbank, Calif.

He was jailed in September for violating parole by traveling to Las Vegas for his ill-fated attempt to peddle Simpson memorabilia on Sept. 13.

Riccio, 45, of Los Angeles, said he could not comment because he has a contract for a tell-all book, titled "Busted," being released next week about the Las Vegas incident.

Riccio's lawyer, Stanley Lieber of Woodland Hills, Calif., said Beardsley telephoned Riccio in recent weeks with threats to "boil the family cat," although Riccio does not have a cat, and with threats to harm Riccio, booksellers and Riccio's book publisher.

"He also said, 'If you think what happened to Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman was bad, wait until you see what happens to your family,'" Lieber said, a reference to the slayings for which Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murder charges.

Beardsley filed a civil lawsuit Feb. 26 in Orange County Superior Court that alleged he was set up and defrauded by Riccio, a collectibles broker who arranged the Sept. 13 meeting with Simpson.

Riccio has denied the allegations and promised to sue Beardsley on accusations that he defrauded Riccio during a 2004 business encounter.

Lieber said the harassment allegations will be part of an answer and cross-complaint he plans to file next week in the Beardsley lawsuit.

Simpson and two co-defendants, Clarence "C.J." Stewart and Charles Ehrlich, are due to stand trial Sept. 8 in Las Vegas on charges they went to a hotel room at the Palace Station casino and seized items at gunpoint from Beardsley and memorabilia broker Bruce Fromong.

Each has pleaded innocent. Simpson has maintained that no guns were used and that he wanted only to retrieve items that he said were stolen from him.

 

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