The Herald Bulletin

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November 27, 2013

Judge rejects O.J. Simpson's bid for new trial

LAS VEGAS — A judge in Las Vegas rejected O.J. Simpson's bid for a new trial on Tuesday, dashing the former football star's bid for freedom based on the claim that his original lawyer botched his armed robbery and kidnapping trial in Las Vegas more than five years ago.

"All grounds in the petition lack merit and, consequently, are denied," Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell said.

Simpson's lawyer Patricia Palm said she wanted to speak to Simpson before commenting on the decision.

Simpson could appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. If he loses at that level, the 66-year-old Simpson could go to federal courts to argue his constitutional right to effective counsel was violated.

The 101-page ruling came after a Clark County District Court jury found Simpson guilty in 2008 of kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges in what he maintained was an attempt to retrieve memorabilia and personal items from two sports collectibles dealers in a casino hotel room.

It followed a small victory for Simpson in July, when Nevada parole commissioners granted parole on five concurrent sentences. The parole ruling didn't free Simpson, because he still faces at least four more years for other convictions in the case.

Simpson was handcuffed and jailed following his conviction on Oct. 3, 2008, and sentenced in December 2008 to nine to 33 years in Nevada state prison.

His conviction in Las Vegas came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murder in Los Angeles in the 1994 stabbing deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, and almost seven years after a jury in Miami acquitted him of all charges in a Florida road rage case.

Simpson's legal defense in Las Vegas was headed at trial by the same Miami-based attorney, Yale Galanter, who represented him in the 2001 road rage case. Attorney Gabriel Grasso served with Galanter as co-counsel in Simpson's Las Vegas case.

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