Auctioneer tells how scheme in Simpson case went awry

For a few minutes, the scheme to take sports memorabilia from two dealers at Palace Station in O.J. Simpson’s case went according to plan, a witnesses who set up the deal said.

But once guns were drawn, the plan fell apart, Thomas Riccio testified this morning.

“It was like whoa. Then I was scared myself,” Riccio said of the guns. “It got crazy from there.”

Riccio is an auctioneer who set up the meeting between Simpson and two memorabilia dealers, Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, on Sept. 13, 2007.

Simpson has claimed, though his attorneys, that he was only trying to get back memorabilia that belonged to him when he and several other men burst into the Palace Station hotel room.

Riccio said he didn’t think Simpson’s alleged accomplices should have brought guns into the room.

“It was overkill,” he said. “They certainly didn’t need to bring guns."

Earlier today, jurors in the trial took a field trip to view the hotel room where the incident occurred.

Simpson and his co-defendant, Clarence Stewart, are facing kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges in connection with the incident. They have pleaded not guilty.


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