O.J. Simpson testifies in bid for new trial
In a blue prison jumpsuit, O.J. Simpson took the witness stand Wednesday in his effort to get a new trial on robbery, assault and kidnapping charges from 2007.
A deputy escorted him to the stand and unlocked the manacles on his hands.
In the Las Vegas courtroom, Simpson recounted his working relationship with his former attorney, Yale Galanter, who represented him in the original case -- but represented him poorly, Simpson claims.
"Yale had a relationship with the media and he would go on various shows to refute the tabloid stories," Simpson said. "He had a good relationship with the media and consequently I was in the media a lot and that gave him an opportunity to go on TV."
Simpson, who is serving a 33-year prison term, argued in court papers requesting the new trial that bad legal advice led to his arrest and conviction in a 2007 confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers.
The 65-year-old former football star was convicted of leading a group of associates into a room at the Palace Station hotel and casino and using threats, guns and force to take back items from the two dealers.
Simpson accused Galanter of having a conflict of interest and of failing to mount an effective defense. He argued that Galanter counseled him that it would be okay for him to take back memorabilia he believed had been stolen from him, "so long as there would be no trespass and no physical force used against the persons with the property."
He also argues Galanter prevented him from testifying on his own behalf, leaving nothing to challenge evidence put forward by prosecutors of criminal intent and other issues.
Because Simpson didn't testify in the 2008 trial, he now "wants to tell his story," attorney Osmaldo Fumo said Tuesday, the second day of the hearing.
The Nevada Supreme Court upheld the conviction in 2010. Prosecutors say there is no evidence of conflict of interest and Simpson's claims are "without merit."
Simpson, who played in the NFL from 1969 to 1979, was acquitted in a criminal trial in the 1994 deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. A civil jury later slapped him with a $33 million wrongful-death judgment.
He is eligible for parole in the 2007 case in 2017.