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O.J. Simpson knew guns were brought to hotel confrontation: Attorney

Dispute between Simpson and his former attorney hinges on details of Simpson's 2008 conviction on kidnapping and armed robbery charges

Reuters, Friday 17 May 2013

A former attorney for O.J. Simpson testified on Friday that the ex-football star knew two associates would be armed with guns when they accompanied him to a Las Vegas hotel room to recover property from two memorabilia dealers.

Attorney Yale Galanter was on the witness stand in a hearing into Simpson's claims that Galanter had mishandled the Nevada case, which led to Simpson's 2008 conviction on kidnapping and armed robbery charges.

Simpson, who was famously acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend after the so-called "Trial of the Century" in the 1990s, also maintains that Galanter had a conflict of interest.

Simpson has accused Galanter of failing to argue at trial that the former football player was not aware that the two men with him were carrying guns during the confrontation at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in September 2007 because Simpson was drunk at the time.

But Galanter, under questioning from Clark County Deputy District Attorney Leon Simon, said he never raised such a defense "because Mr. Simpson wasn't intoxicated."

Galanter also said that Simpson told him he had asked co-defendant Walter Alexander to bring "heat" to the hotel room meeting, and that he knew another man would also be armed.

Asked by Leon if he knew what Simpson meant by "heat," Galanter responded: "It was guns, there was no doubt about that."

Simpson, 65, is serving up to 33 years for his conviction on 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping, for taking thousands of dollars in memorabilia and other items from the sports dealers at gunpoint.

Simpson has said he was only trying to recover his own stolen property.

The former star NFL running back turned TV pitch man and actor was accused of the June 12, 1994, stabbing and slashing murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, waiter Ronald Goldman.

He was acquitted in 1995 after sensational proceedings were carried live on U.S. television and dubbed the "Trial of the Century" by various media outlets.

A civil jury later found him liable for the deaths of his former spouse and Goldman in a wrongful death lawsuit, awarding their families $33.5 million in damages.

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