LAS VEGAS — His leg shackles rattling as he shuffled to and from the witness stand, O.J. Simpson made his own case Wednesday for a new trial on armed robbery charges with testimony that he relied on the advice of his trusted attorney when he tried to reclaim mementos from his football glory days.
“It was my stuff. I followed what I thought was the law,” the 65-year-old former NFL star and actor said. “My lawyer told me I couldn’t break into a guy’s room. I didn’t break into anybody’s room. I didn’t try to muscle the guys. The guys had my stuff, even though they claimed they didn’t steal it.”
Simpson said he took the advice of his longtime former lawyer, Yale Galanter, and didn’t testify in his Las Vegas trial at which he was convicted in 2008 of armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges and sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison.
His fall from long-ago fame and fortune was on display as a grayer, bulkier Simpson made his way through the courtroom. The Heisman Trophy college running back and NFL record-setter once made TV commercials running through airports. As Nevada prison inmate No. 1027820, he’s been handcuffed and chained at the ankles during a hearing on his claim that he was poorly represented by his attorney during the trial.
His physician, Henry Johnson, watched and said Simpson appeared to be in good health.
H. Leon Simon, attorney for the state, conducted a brief cross-examination.