Simpson co-defendant appeals his conviction


The co-defendant in the O.J. Simpson robbery case says he deserves a new trial because he was prejudiced by sharing a trial with the infamous fallen football star.

In his appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, Clarence "C.J." Stewart argues he suffered "spill over prejudice" during the trial alongside Simpson on armed robbery and kidnapping charges.

"Not only is Simpson a notorious (or infamous) celebrity, to much of the world he is the exemplar of the wrongfully acquitted," his lawyer, Brent Bryson, argues in the appeal filed Wednesday.

Stewart's lawyers argued through last fall's trial that their client should have been tried separately from Simpson. Both men were convicted on all counts and sentenced to prison.

Stewart also said District Judge Jackie Glass should have granted him a separate trial because of ongoing disagreements between the two defense teams.

For example, Stewart's lawyers wanted to exclude secret audio recordings made of the confrontation inside a Palace Station hotel room because they could not be authenticated or verified, even by FBI experts. But Simpson's lawyers believed the recordings were exculpatory and wanted them played as evidence, the appeal says.

Stewart also argues that Glass erred by admitting the recordings as evidence, calling them "inherently untrustworthy."

Prosecution experts testified that the digital recorder used by auctioneer Thomas Riccio had deleted files. And Riccio kept the recording for eight days before turning it over to Las Vegas police. During that time he sold an audio clip to TMZ, a celebrity Web site, for $150,000, the appeal states.

Like Simpson, Stewart also calls for a new trial based on Glass' conduct, which was "sarcastic and patronizing" toward the defense.

"The trial judge consistently berated and chided the defense counsel for making proper objections as if they were children 'acting out' in class," the appeal says.

Contact reporter Brian Haynes at bhaynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0281.

 

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