Pining for another round of O.J. mania? You got it.
With a throng of reporters and cameramen waiting to greet him, a handcuffed O.J. Simpson returned to a Las Vegas jail Friday night, this time amid allegations that he tried to dissuade a co-defendant from cooperating with authorities in the sports memorabilia robbery case against him.
The fallen former football star was escorted to the Clark County Detention Center by his North Las Vegas-based bail bondsman, Miguel Pereira, who flew in with Simpson from Miami on an American Airlines flight.
Earlier in the day, District Judge Jackie Glass ordered Simpson's detention pending a hearing Wednesday on whether to revoke his $125,000 bail.
The move was based on a motion filed Friday by District Attorney David Roger, who alleged Simpson tried to persuade co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart not to testify or cooperate with law enforcement. The motion cites a message left Nov. 16 on Pereira's voice mail.
"Hey Miguel, it's me. ... I just want, want C.J. to know that the whole thing all the time he was tellin' me that (expletive), ya know, I hope he was telling me the truth. Don't be trying to change the (expletive) now," Simpson said in the message, according to the court documents.
"I'm tired of this (expletive). Fed up with (expletive) changing what they told me. All right?"
As a condition of his bail, Simpson was barred from contacting any co-defendants or witnesses in the case. If Glass revokes Simpson's bail, he would remain at the Las Vegas jail through the trial, scheduled to start April 7.
Pereira, of You Ring We Spring, said he gave the voice mail to the district attorney's office after a private investigator threatened to tell authorities about the recording if Pereira didn't. The bondsman said he didn't pay close attention to the message when he first heard it, but he turned it over because he didn't want to be accused of hiding it.
He said he didn't know who had employed the investigator, but he speculated that it might have been the Goldman family.
Simpson was acquitted in 1995 in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
Pereira thinks the message was discovered by someone tapping Simpson's phone.
A Las Vegas police transcript of the message, which is attached to Roger's motion, is titled "surreptitious recording."
Simpson, Stewart and Charles Ehrlich face trial on 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping, in the Sept. 13 sports memorabilia heist at a Palace Station hotel room.
Three other co-defendants have taken plea agreements for lesser charges in exchange for their testimony in court.
Prosecutors contend the six men burst into the room with two handguns and robbed memorabilia dealers Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong. Simpson and the others made off with thousands of dollars' worth of memorabilia, including footballs that once belonged to Simpson and other items, such as baseballs and lithographs, from other sports stars.
Simpson's lawyers have denied that anyone was armed and said their client went to the room to retrieve personal items stolen from him years ago by a former manager.
One of his lawyers, Yale Galanter, denied the voice-mail allegation.
"O.J. did not try to persuade anybody to contact a witness," Galanter said, calling the voice mail an expression of frustration to a member of the defense team.
One of Stewart's lawyers, Jose Pallares, said Friday that he had no knowledge of Simpson's message ever getting to Stewart.
Charles Kelly, a Las Vegas defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor, said the voice mail might not be enough to revoke Simpson's bail, adding that the outcome could hinge on what Stewart tells the judge.
"If C.J. comes in and says, 'O.J.'s been pestering me,' O.J.'s toast," Kelly said. "This judge is the kind of judge who will lock him up in a New York second."
Kelly predicted that defense lawyers will say they had a joint defense agreement that would trump a no-contact order. Such agreements allow co-defendants to communicate to coordinate their defense and have been upheld in federal court, he said.
If Glass buys that argument, she probably would give Simpson a stern warning and let him remain free. But if Roger reveals stronger evidence of misconduct, Simpson could end up with a long stay in jail.
"O.J. tended to underestimate the home field advantage of David Roger," Kelly said.
Review-Journal writers David Kihara and Lawrence Mower and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact reporter Brian Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 383-0281.