O.J. Simpson’s defense team rested its case Wednesday without calling on the testimony of its star defendant
By Stacey Silberman
Sompson only calls one witness
HOLLYWOOD, CA(RUSHPRNEWS)10/2/08 – As reported by Hollywood Today, O.J. Simpson’s defense attorneys rested their case Wednesday after calling one witness to the stand in Clark County Court, and it wasn’t their star defendant Mr. Simpson, but his best buddy from Florida Thomas Scotto.
Scotto is the gentleman who invited Simpson to play best man at his wedding last September. Scotto’s wedding was the reason for all of the men involved in the alleged armed robbery and kidnapping to meet each other in the first place. They came to attend the wedding, but after arriving in Las Vegas, the men were asked to help out their old friend O.J.
Scotto testified about the credibility of some of the prior co-defendants turned state witnesses. Four defendants took plea deals from the state in exchange for their testimony in the case against big fish O.J.
Scotto told the court that two of the witnesses for the state attempted to extort $50,000 from him on behalf of O.J. He testified that one of the men implied that he’d change his testimony if paid.
“They were basically telling me, â€˜You or O.J. better come up with this or else,’ ” Scotto said.
Under cross examination by District Attorney David Roger, however, Scotto said he never told police about the extortion plot because investigators neglected to contact him for an interview.
In addition, Roger made accusations that Scotto had threatened to have one of the witnesses knocked off. Scotto testified that the assertion was “ridiculous.”
According to other witness testimony, it was Scotto wedding coordinator and co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, who acted as Simpson’s liaison and who helped him to organize the men for his alleged retrieval operation.
He asked key prosecution witnesses and alleged gunmen Walter Alexander and Michael McClinton to meet with Simpson at his hotel after telling them that the NFL star needed help from the boys. The other two men testifying for the prosecution after signing pleas deals are Charles Ehrlich, an old friend of Simpson’s from Florida and wedding bartender Charles Cashmore, who barely knew Simpson at all.
Simpson and Stewart are on trial facing 12 charges against them, 11 felonies, stemming from the charged armed robbery and kidnapping last September 13, 2007 in hotel room 1203 at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino. Simpson and five of his cronies entered the room along with Thomas Riccio for the purpose of getting his “stuff” back from sports memorabilia dealers and victims Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley.
According to Riccio, he set the event in motion after finding out Beardsley had personal items belonging to Simpson. Riccio testified that Beardsley asked him not to call Simpson, but that’s just what he did, which is why Simpson and Riccio hatched a so-called “sting” operation.
Simpson alleges that he only wanted to take back personal mementos stolen from his Brentwood estate several years ago and that he had no idea that his friends used weapons during the incident.
Unfortunately, weapons were brandished, and police were called to the scene after Simpson and his posse took off with $100,000 worth of memorabilia. Hotel surveillance video and digital recordings by Riccio captured parts of the event and help to corroborate the testimony of a bunch of men with mostly shady pasts.
Simpson, 61, and Stewart, 54, pleaded not guilty to all charges, but if found guilty of armed robbery or armed kidnapping face life in prison with the chance for parole.
Closing arguments should be concluded by Thursday and then it will be up to the three men and nine women who comprise the mostly white Nevada style jury.