District Judge Jackie Glass on Friday postponed O.J. Simpson's trial on armed robbery and kidnapping charges until September.
A clearly frustrated Glass delayed the start of the trial for five months because attorneys are still waiting for evidence, including audio recordings sent to the FBI for analysis.
"Believe me, I don't want to do this," the judge said of setting the new trial date for Sept. 8. "In September, there should be absolutely, positively no reason for this case not to go forward."
Also on Friday, Glass declined to toss out any of the charges against the former Heisman Trophy winner, as his lawyers had sought.
She warned that she wouldn't accept any excuses from attorneys who say they aren't ready for the trial, which could last six weeks.
"If you dare come to me ... and give me some story about something that didn't get done, then shame on you. I'm not continuing the trial," Glass said.
Simpson didn't attend Friday's hearing, but two co-defendants, Charles Ehrlich and Clarence "CJ" Stewart, were in the courtroom. Neither man spoke during the nearly two-hour hearing.
Simpson, Ehrlich and Stewart are facing 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping, in connection with a sports memorabilia heist Sept. 13 at Palace Station. Three other co-defendants have taken pleas for lesser charges in exchange for their testimony.
Authorities say Simpson and others robbed two memorabilia dealers, Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, of thousands of dollars worth of goods.
Simpson, Ehrlich and Stewart have pleaded not guilty. Simpson maintained that he was only trying to retrieve items that once belonged to him.
During Friday's hearing, Glass refused to drop the robbery and kidnapping charges against Simpson or grant separate trials for Ehrlich and Stewart.
Simpson's attorneys argued that the robbery and kidnapping charges should be dropped on technicalities, but Glass, while agreeing that the alleged kidnapping doesn't fit the typical scenario of a person being snatched off the street, felt the charges could go forward.
Stewart's attorney, Robert Lucherini, said his client won't get a fair trial if he has to defend himself alongside Simpson.
"The prejudice to my client for sitting next to Mr. Simpson is huge," he said.
Ehrlich's attorney, John Moran Jr., agreed.
Glass made rulings on almost two dozen motions by four defense attorneys who sat shoulder to shoulder at the defendants table. She agreed to allow jury questionnaires to weed out biased jurors but denied most of the requests before her, including taking the jury on a field trip to Palace Station.
The specter of Simpson's past also was raised Friday. His attorneys, Yale Galanter and Gabriel Grasso, fought to keep any mention of Simpson's earlier murder trial and civil trial out of the upcoming proceedings.
In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman in a trial that was a huge media spectacle. A civil jury later found Simpson liable for the deaths and ordered him to pay more than $33 million to the victims' families.
Clark County District Attorney David Roger said Friday, and Glass agreed, that some mention of the civil judgment must be made because he argued that was where the dispute over the memorabilia stemmed from.
After the hearing, Grasso said that the kidnapping charges against Simpson should be dismissed but that the defense team was soldiering on.
"We made a valiant argument," he said. "I think it should have been granted. It wasn't. Well, we got to go from here. We work with what we got."
Contact reporter David Kihara at email@example.com or (702) 380-1039.