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Gaming Guru

Melissa Arseniuk

Simpson sentenced to at least nine years

5 December 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- O.J. Simpson will spend at least nine years in a Nevada prison.

District Court Judge Jackie Glass handed the former NFL star his punishment, 33 years in prison without the possibility of parole for nine years, just after 10 a.m. this morning.

"The evidence in this case was overwhelming," Glass said. "Overwhelming."

Dressed in navy blue inmate attire, Simpson addressed the court before receiving his sentence.

"I stand before you today, sorry, somewhat confused," he said, his voice unsteady as he spoke.

"I didn't mean to hurt anybody and I didn't mean to steal from anybody," he said. "I didn't know I was doing anything illegal. I thought I was confronting friends and retrieving my property."

The All-Star running back was facing a possible life sentence following a run-in with two memorabilia dealers in a Palace Station hotel room last year.

Though Glass declined to impose a life term, her sentence means the former football star could remain incarcerated until he is 94 years old if denied parole.

Simpson and his co-accused, Clarence "C.J." Stewart, were found guilty on Oct. 3 of allegedly robbing the collectibles dealers at gunpoint on Sept 13, 2007.

Simpson, 61, maintained that no guns were involved and that he and his five-man entourage were simply recovering personal items that had been stolen from him.

A secret audio recording of the six-minute altercation captured by the middleman who arranged the meeting, Thomas Ricco, was used as evidence against the accused during the trial.

Simpson and Stewart were convicted on all 12 counts they faced, including two counts of first-degree kidnapping, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

The state had requested Simpson get at least 18 years behind bars while his attorneys asked he serve the minimum, six years.

Simpson's attorney, Gabriel Grasso, said the defense was disappointed with Glass's sentence.

"We were expecting less than that," he said.

Grasso and Simpson's other lawyer, Yale Galanter, will appeal the decision.

"We'll file the notice of appeal as soon as we can," Galanter said yesterday. He said he expected to file the necessary documents this afternoon or first thing Monday morning.

Simpson's attorneys will ask their client serve his sentence at either the High Desert State Prison or Southern Desert Correctional Center, in Indian Springs.

Stewart was also sentenced today and will serve a lighter prison term than Simpson. Glass sentenced him to 27 years in jail with the possibility of parole until 2016.

His lawyers will also appeal the decision.

District Attorney David Roger offered plea bargains in return for the testimony of the five others who accompanied Simpson and Stewart during the raid.

The accomplices, Charles Cashmore, Charles "Charlie" Ehrlich, and the two who said Simpson asked them to bring guns that fateful day, Michael McClinton and Walter Alexander, testified against Simpson and Stewart. They will be sentenced Tuesday.