Witness says Simpson called for guns

O.J. Simpson wanted help taking back his memorabilia, and he wanted someone to bring the "heat," one of the men who carried a gun during the holdup of two sports memorabilia dealers testified Wednesday.

"He just said, ‘Bring the guns so they know we mean business,’ " Walter Alexander recalled Simpson saying at his Palms hotel room hours before the incident at Palace Station.

On a day that included references to the Bible, accusations of pimping and a shouting match between a witness and lawyer that had courtroom marshals jumping to their feet, Alexander spent most of Wednesday recounting the events of Sept. 13, 2007, and the aftermath that led him to the witness stand.

Simpson and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart are on trial on armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges.

Alexander, a friend and golfing buddy of Simpson’s for a dozen years, said he was in Las Vegas for the wedding of Simpson’s best friend, Thomas Scotto, when Stewart told him Simpson needed help.

When Alexander and his friend, Michael McClinton, met Simpson at his Palms hotel room, the Hall of Fame running back told them of his plan to recover memorabilia that he believed had been stolen from him, Alexander testified.

"He said, ‘OK. Do you think you can get some heat?’ " said Alexander, who brought a Bible with him to the witness stand before District Judge Jackie Glass told him to turn it over to the court marshal.

Simpson explained they didn’t need to brandish the weapons but told them to make sure the guns were visible, he said.

Alexander said he was concerned about bringing weapons and asked Simpson about the police.

"He was like, ‘(expletive) the police. It’s my (expletive). I’m just going to get my own (expletive). What are they going to do? Take me to jail for taking my own (expletive)?’ " Alexander quoted Simpson as saying.

Later, the three men met at the Palace Station with Stewart, Charles Ehrlich, Charles Cashmore and Thomas Riccio, the auctioneer who set up the meeting with memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley.

While Fromong and Beardsley waited in Room 1203 for a memorabilia "buyer" to show up, the other men huddled outside the door. That’s when Simpson told McClinton to pull out his gun, Alexander testified.

"He wanted to look tough when we walked in the room," he said.

Alexander said he considered leaving but didn’t want to look like a coward. They entered the room, and McClinton aimed his gun at various people throughout the six-minute confrontation, he said.

At one point Simpson told McClinton to lower his gun, Alexander said.

When the incident was over, Alexander headed to the parking lot with a box of lithographs of former NFL player Joe Montana. The men rendezvoused at the Palms and loaded the property into Stewart’s Lincoln Navigator, he said.

"I knew at that very moment I was going to be in a world of trouble," he testified. "I had been involved in an armed robbery."

At a wedding-related dinner at Little Buddha that night, Alexander and McClinton tried to secretly record Simpson talking about the guns so they could protect themselves, Alexander said.

"We realized he was going to throw us under the bus because the only way he could defend himself was to blame it on us," he said.

Simpson responded by telling them to "just say there were no guns and it ain’t nothing," Alexander said.

Alexander was confronted by police two days later at McCarran International Airport. He worked out a deal with prosecutors and was the first participant to cooperate.

He was released from jail on his own recognizance and was promised the best deal, he said. He eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. Prosecutors will ask for probation, and Alexander can withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial if his sentence includes prison time.

In the weeks before he officially entered his plea in late October 2007, Alexander tried to back out of the deal because he was upset that Riccio was granted full immunity.

He sought help from Scotto.

"If I get some help, then I’ll do whatever I can, and I think I can do a lot," Alexander said on a voice mail.

Defense lawyers grilled Alexander about that call and whether he was offering to change his testimony for the right price.

Alexander denied looking for money. In a series of repetitive questions on the topic, Alexander consistently said he hoped to get money for a lawyer so he could fight the charges and avoid testifying against his friends.

"I would not be up here saying the things I’m saying that hurt Mr. Simpson. … I would not have to be badgered by this man," he said, referring to Simpson lawyer Yale Galanter in a hint of things to come.

Alexander said he took the plea agreement after praying and getting a "revelation" that he had done something wrong.

Minutes later, Galanter leaned over Alexander’s shoulder on the witness stand to show him a copy of the preliminary hearing transcript.

"Can you back away from me and let me read this because I don’t like the way you smell," Alexander said.

"No. I’m going to do it the same way Mr. Owens did it," Galanter responded, referring to prosecutor Christopher Owens.

"He’s yelling in my ear. He did this before and I don’t like it. Step back, please," Alexander shouted as court marshals approached the stand.

Galanter retreated before they intervened and opted to use the projector to show the transcript.

Glass scolded Galanter for the episode.

"If the witness is not OK with you doing it, then it’s not OK," she said. "Do not, do not do it again."

With the jury not present, Simpson’s lawyers later asked for a mistrial because Glass had rejected their attempts to probe what they called Alexander’s work as a pimp, which they intended to use to attack his credibility.

"He lied when he said he wasn’t a pimp, and we had the evidence to prove it," Gabriel Grasso said.

Grasso added that Alexander’s Bible "opened the door to ask how religious a pimp actually is."

Earlier in the day, Glass refused to allow Fred Goldman’s lawyer, David Cook, to testify about the $33.5 million civil judgment against Simpson, who was found liable in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of their slayings in 1994.

Glass said Cook’s testimony was marginally relevant and would be prejudicial to Simpson.

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

Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like