Simpson In Court As Often As He Was On the Gridiron

Defense attorney Yale Galanter asks lead Detective Andy Caldwell some tough questions, but he holds up well for the prosecution on the witness stand

By Stacey Silberman

HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 9/20/08 – “’They didn’t get him in California, we’re going to get him now,’” according to one of the hotel room recordings after police were called to the scene, taped without knowledge of the police.

At O.J. Simpson’s “alleged armed robbery” trial. proceedings went into an interesting line of questioning Thursday as defense attorney Yale Galanter pressed lead Detective Stephen “Andy” Caldwell for answers as to why one of his own men was heard saying the above comment.

Detective Caldwell was questioned as to whether he remembered hearing the above comment and as to whether he knew who’d said it. Galanter was trying to show the jury that Las Vegas Police might have been out to “get” Simpson due to his sordid past.

The detective testified that he remembered the comment, but that he didn’t remember it word for word. He also said that it was a civilian employee of the police department, but not one of the detectives who said it. He played down the role that the individual played in the case.

Unbeknownst to police and detectives at the crime scene, hotel room 1203 was being taped for about a ten-hour period by Thomas Riccio, who came back to the room, and surreptitiously retrieved his audio recording device. The device was reportedly hidden by Riccio prior to the incident involving co-defendants Simpson, 61, and Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, 54.The two victims in the case are sports memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley.

Fromong was the first witness to testify in the case and the witness who fell ill during cross examination by the defense. He is said by some experts to have helped the prosecution with his testimony, but his credibility may be an issue for the jury if they believe he was trying to capitalize on the crime after calling the T.V. show “Inside Edition.”

Both Fromong and Beardsley are said to be sympathetic to the defense, even though they were extremely upset by the alleged armed robbery, which they themselves reported to police.

The other four men originally charged in the case are Michael McClinton, Walter Alexander, Charles Cashmore, and Charles Ehrlich, who have all pleaded guilty to one felony count and who have all made plea deals in the case. They are all expected to testify for the prosecution.

McClinton testified in the pre-trial hearing that he pointed a gun a Fromong and that O.J. asked him to bring some “heat” to the hotel room to intimidate the dealers. O.J. claims he had no knowledge of the weapons during the incident. O.J. and C.J. have both pleaded not guilty to all 12 charges, including robbery, armed robbery, kidnapping, armed kidnapping, coercion, and assault with a deadly weapon.

The prosecution calls the case an alleged armed robbery while the defense calls the incident a recovery gone wrong.Caldwell took the stand Wednesday for the prosecution, following testimony by Allan Morris, head of surveillance for the Palace Station Hotel & Casino, who testified about the authenticity of casino video surveillance before and after the “alleged robbery.”

On Wednesday, an FBI specialist testified as to the authenticity of the audio recordings made by Thomas Riccio, who allegedly instigated the entire caper, along with O.J.
The defense managed to get the specialist to concede that the tapes could possibly have been tampered with.

One of Stewart’s defense attorneys, Brent Bryson, questioned Det. Caldwell about Riccio’s unwillingness to turn over the tapes after the crime was reported. He said it took “eight days” of negotiation before Riccio turned them over to police. And that was after he sold them to an Internet Web site for over $100,000

Caldwell said that Riccio wanted “total immunity.” “And you did an immunity deal?” asked Bryson.

“Yes,” said Caldwell.

Riccio is in Las Vegas waiting to tell his version of the story about the incident that took place on September 13, 2007 at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino. He is expected to testify for a period of one to two days.

“I hope they don’t just have to go by what I say,” said Riccio to the Associated Press. “All they have to do is listen to my tapes.”

Some of the evidence on the tapes suggests that Simpson was trying to get his personal family mementos back. “I just want my private pictures,” said Simpson during one conversation. “The rest of it I don’t give a (expletive) about.”

However, regardless of whose “stuff” is whose, the jury will have to decide whom they believe and whether Simpson and Stewart committed the alleged crimes or not.

Simpson and Stewart will be sentenced to a mandatory prison time if convicted of armed robbery. If convicted of kidnapping or armed kidnapping both men could be sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole.

SOURCE: Hollywood Today

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