NV vs. Simpson – Right Man, Right Motivation, Wrong Charge
Posted by thedarwinexception on November 9, 2007
Not that I am surprised or anything, and it’s not that the fact is surprising to me, but I find the current Simpson case fascinating, on many levels. I think I look at this case the same way I did the Warren Jeffs case – right guy, right motivation, but the wrong charges.
What is even more surprising to me is that I came to this revelation when a prosecution witness was testifying under cross examination.
Today Thomas Riccio, the memorabilia dealer who brought together the buyer and the sellers in this case, testified under the questioning of Yale Galanter, OJ Simpson’s longtime attorney, and this prosecution witness convinced me that yeah, this is probably a case of “The Country Vs. OJ – We’ll Get You This Time, Dammit!” and I am quite convinced that if this involved anyone else besides OJ, there would be different charges filed – and some of the people that the state was very anxious to make deals with in this case would actually be sitting at the defense table.
There are some interesting legal questions involved in this case, things like what constitutes “conspiracy”? Is it conspiracy if there was never a “meeting of the minds” or the formulation of a set plan between the co-conspirators? If one guy brings a gun and no one else is aware that the guy is packing heat, are they involved in a conspiracy? Even the “go between”, Thomas Riccio, wasn’t quite sure of the “plan” – he didn’t know how OJ was going to transport the things he was there to recover. And he certainly says he didn’t know there were going to be guns there – or a gun, since he says he only saw one.
But since other witnesses, including Bruce Fromong, says he saw two guns, is the fact that Riccio only saw one gun an indication that with all the commotion and all the screaming and yelling and the amount of people in that small room that it could actually be that OJ didn’t see any guns at all, as he claims? Riccio testified today that it was certainly possible, that OJ was three feet in front of Riccio and OJ’s back was turned to the man with the gun, and OJ was focused on yelling at the two “Sellers” of his personal property. Riccio admitted that it was quite possible that OJ never saw a gun at all. And we know that Riccio – standing behind OJ, only saw one of the alleged two guns in the room.
Riccio also testified that he never heard OJ tell anyone to take their guns out, and OJ was never suspected of having a gun himself. And no one can say where the guns came form, and Fromong says the men came in the doors “waving the guns around and putting a gun in his face” and Riccio says he never saw a gun being pulled UNTIL the “sellers” started complaining about the men taking the lithographs and the cell phones. I just question the whole “conspiracy to rob with a deadly weapon” charge.
What is also weird about this charge is that it is based on the fact that the “robbers” didn’t stop and sort out the things they were taking. I don’t think anyone believes that OJ was really planning on robbing these people of their Joe Montana lithographs or their Pete Rose laser inscribed baseball bats. OJ didn’t want to rob that stuff – he wanted the property he believed was his, and Riccio testified that the “sellers’ were more than willing to give OJ this stuff back once they realized that they were “caught”. And Riccio made it clear that Alfred Beardsley, the one who initially contacted Riccio about unloading the stuff knew and acknowledged that the items were, in fact, stolen property of OJ’s.
If the “sellers” knew that the property was OJ’s, if OJ was standing in the room demanding that they give the stuff back, and the “sellers” weren’t objecting to OJ taking the stuff back – is it still robbery? The only time the “sellers” object to OJ taking *anything* was when the group started taking the lithographs and the personal cell phones. And OJ is heard on the audio tape of the incident telling the sellers “Look, I don’t want your shit, I’ll give you back anything that isn’t mine.” Does that rise to the level of robbery?
I don’t know, I understand that there were guns involved, one way or another, and that there should be charges filed against somebody for something, but should it be OJ, and should he be facing a potential life sentence because he went to a hotel room to recover things that in his mind, were his anyway? Especially in light of the fact that not only 3 different California Police Departments but the FB fucking I actually KNEW that this was all going to happen? Riccio called and told these agencies what the plan was, that OJ was going to recover some stolen property and these agencies knew that this guy named Alfred Beardsley was running around with a bunch of items that were stolen from OJ Simpson.
And part of the problem is that Beardlsey is such a fucking lunatic. He can’t keep his stories straight, and so far there he has offered a bunch of different scenarios under which this stuff came to be “stolen”. There’s the story that OJ doesn’t pay his bills, and his agent at the time, Mike Gilbert, took the stuff as payment, there’s the story that OJ was trying to hide the stuff from the Goldman’s and Mike Gilbert offered to take the stuff for safe keeping and then just outright sold it, and then there’s the story that OJ’s mom doesn’t pay her bills, either, and that this stuff was sold from a public storage unit she had. Of course, you could practically drive a truck through the holes in any one of those stories. And really who the hell is stealing from whom?
Under cross examination today Riccio also repeated what he had testified to under direct about the whole “pool party” he went to at OJ’s hotel, and how OJ was introducing Riccio to anyone and everyone present as “the guy who is going to help me get my stolen shit back”. I just don’t think the mindset was there of some criminal robbery. There was no hush hush cover this up – in the dead of night conspiracy going on. Even Riccio testified that he was surprised and a little nervous about OJ being so forthcoming and talkative about recovering the items. Riccio didn’t know at that point who Beardsley was dealing with, and for all he knew, that person could have been there at the pool party. Clearly, OJ thought he was simply going to recover what he thought was rightfully his.
The whole thing seems hinky to me. And although I can think on NO ONE who more deserves to be in prison for the rest of his natural life than OJ Simpson, I just question whether or not this is the way he should get there.
Of course, we’ve only heard from two witnesses, with todays cross examination of Riccio being basically a repeat of what he said yesterday under direct, since he’s pretty much a witness for the defense more than the prosecution. And today’s second witness, Allan Morris, was some boring ass guy from the Palace Hotel explaining that there are a thousand cameras in place at the hotel and casino, and then proceeded to show us angles of the robbers walking into the hotel from pretty much damned near every one of those cameras.
Maybe the other 6 witnesses will convince me that yes, this is the correct charge for OJ Simpson, and this is absolutely the right reason to throw his ass in jail (finally), but unless one of those “co conspirators” comes up to the stand and credibly tells me that OJ himself told someone to make sure they bring their gun, and make sure they didn’t leave that hotel room without Pete Fucking Rose’s laser inscribed baseball bat, well, I’m still going to think “Right guy, Right motivation, Wrong Charge”.