NV. vs. Simpson – Journalistic Integrity
Posted by thedarwinexception on September 22, 2008
Today Dominick Dunne was not in his usual seat in the courtroom behind the Prosecutors, in the last row, he was experiencing some pain and was taken to the hospital for observation. He’s been fighting bladder cancer the last few years, and although he was jovial and sitting up talking as he was taken away from the courtroom, he has said that this will likely be his last trial. Fitting that it’s an OJ trial.
Court kicks off with debate outside the presence of the jury – the defense would like to know exactly how far they can get into Riccio’s past convictions. He has several. He’s spent over 10 years in prison at various times throughout his life -f or arson, for stolen property and for escaping from prison in Connecticut, going to California and hiding out for 5 months.
The judge rules that since the prosecution didn’t elicit the past conviction information from Riccio- rather it was a subject talked about in the taped recordings of conversations – and since some of the charges are over 10 years old – it’s not something the defense will be able to go into any great detail about.
With Riccio back on the stand, Owens continues his direct examination where they left off on Friday, with the series of telephone calls between Riccio and OJ after the incident when Riccio was back in California. Owens asks Riccio about the tapes themselves, and Riccio says that yeah, now that he hears the tapes again, he does agree that tape number 10 is a continuation of the phone call that began in tape number 9.
Riccio says that this call took place the day before OJ was arrested – that OJ had said “This will all blow over, don’t worry about it” and the next day OJ was arrested.
Owens asks Riccio about Riccio’s repeated statements on the tapes of “I’m not going to lie” He asks Riccio why he kept repeating that, and Riccio says, “Well, OJ just seemed to keep repeating that he hadn’t seen a gun, and I told him I did, and that I wasn’t going to lie about that.”
Owens then plays a snippet of recording number 8 – the part where Riccio can be heard to say “There was a guy with a gun – I know you didn’t see it.”
Owens then asks Riccio “Why did you say that you knew OJ didn’t see the gun?”
Riccio explains that this wasn’t his first phone call with OJ – and OJ kept insisting that he didn’t see a gun. Riccio says that he didn’t know if OJ had seen a gun or if he hadn’t, but he wasn’t going to argue with the guy – Riccio knew his position on the matter – he had made it clear in this and previous phone calls that he had never seen a gun.
Owens then asks about the evolution of his statements on the phone to OJ – Riccio starts out by saying “”I’m thinking you didn’t see it, OJ.” Then he moves on to “You probably didn’t see it.” to “I know you didn’t see a gun.” Riccio says he was just repeating OJ’s position, that he didn’t know if OJ had seen a gun or not – but that Riccio definitely did.
Then Owens plays the part of the voice mail where OJ says to Riccio “What are they talking about a gun? Nobody had no gun.” Owens asks Riccio if it was his impression that OJ was trying to get Riccio to agree that there were no guns – if he was trying to convince Riccio to say there hadn’t been any guns in the room. Riccio says it seems like a possibility. Owens then tries to remind and refresh the witness with his prior testimony from the preliminary hearing – where Riccio flat out said “He was was trying to convince me there were no guns.” Then Owens goes on to refresh the witnesses memory with the portion of testimony where Riccio said “OJ told me not to say there was a gun involved.”
Yale Galanter then gets up to cross examine on behalf of OJ.
He immediately tries to defuse the last portion of the state’s direct exam. He asks Riccio if it’s true that Riccio has had a number of conversations with OJ since the incident – both recorded and unrecorded – and that he hasn’t had any conversations with OJ in the past year. Riccio agrees that this is true. Galanter then asks if in any of those conversations OJ had asked Riccio to lie. Riccio says no, OJ never asked him to lie.
Galanter asks Riccio if he thinks that OJ was being sincere when he said “I never saw a gun”. Riccio says he doesn’t know if OJ was being sincere or not.
Galanter then goes through the whole “If you gave a statement right after the incident and if you testified previously – a year ago – you would agree that your memory would have been fresher then, right?” spiel, and the witness agrees that his memory of events was probably better a year ago.
So Galanter pulls out Riccio’s testimony from the preliminary hearing – supposedly when Riccio’s memory would have been fresher – and points out the portion of the testimony where Riccio says that OJ was three feet in front of the guy with the gun and probably didn’t see the gun at all, that Riccio never heard OJ mention anything about guns, and that OJ never told anyone to take a gun out, and that in the whole 6 weeks it took to plan this whole thing, OJ never mentioned having guns there. Riccio agrees with everything he said in his prior testimony.
So Galanter sums up this portion of the cross with “So OJ never asked you to lie?” No, says Riccio he never did. Galanter asks if there were lots of media reports about the event right after the incident, and Riccio sys that almost immediately there was – and most of them were inaccurate. Galanter asks if this was why OJ was calling saying “Why are they saying there were guns?” If this wasn’t just another inaccurate media report. Riccio says that yeah, OJ seemed surprised that the media was reporting there were guns – but that Riccio did see a gun.
Galanter then addresses those portions of the tape where his name is mentioned. He gets the story from Riccio about how they met prior to 2007 – that they had spoken on several occasions regarding Riccio’s dealings with Alfred Beardsley. Beardsley had purported to Riccio that Beardsley represented OJ and was authorized to schedule events on OJ’s behalf. There was money exchanging hands for these alleged bookings. Riccio called Galanter to see if Beardsley really did represent OJ and Galanter told him no, that Beardsley was not authorized to speak for OJ or to book events for him.
Riccio again characterizes Beardsley as “a lunatic” and “a liar”, he says that one of the media reports right after this incident occurred had Beardsley claiming that Riccio had initially contacted him to buy the items, not the other way around. Riccio says that this is completely false. He hadn’t talked to Beardsley in year sand didn’t even know if he was still alive.
Galanter asks Riccio what Riccio’s state of mind was when he heard these reports and Riccio says he was upset and angry – that it was absurd that the media would believe this guy – that they would actually think that just out of the blue Riccio would call Beardsley and say “Hey! Do you have any of OJ’s stolen merchandise?” Riccio was able to prove through telephone records that Beardsley had initially called him. And that Riccio went on the talk show circuit to correct this and other inaccuracies that Beardsley, the raving loon, was saying about him.
Riccio says that 6 weeks before the incident, Beardsley called him only because Beardsley had seen him on TV regarding the Anna Nicole diaries thing Riccio was involved with. Beardsley initially left Riccio a text message saying “Congrats on the Anna Nicole thing – but call me, I have something bigger and better.” He left a number, but didn’t leave a name, so Riccio called the number back.
When Riccio called back Beardsley said “HI! Remember me? It’s Al!” And Riccio was shocked, because the guy had already scammed him in the past.
During the first phone call he said he had “OJ’s personal belongings” – lots and lots of them and whether or not they were stolen never came up.
The next day Beardsley called back and Riccio was still at the car show – he was really busy and Riccio ended up just asking him what he had – he said Hall of Fame plaques, game balls, that kind of stuff and then he said that they were stolen right out of OJ’s trophy room on Rockingham years before. Riccio said he got scared at that point the Beardsley might be trying to set him up – like maybe Beardsley got busted for something and was trying to offer up other people for the police. Riccio explains that he’s scared of deals involving stolen property (because of his sensitivity – not his conviction, if you listen to what Galanter says.)
Galanter then goes through the same questioning with this witness that he did with Brice Fromong – about what the difference is between mass market commercial memorabilia and private, personal heirloom memorabilia. Riccio says that plaques and game balls and photos and stuff are usually only the kinds of things you see in estate sales after the person is dead.
Owens then stands up and offers a speaking objection that included the line “Or when the items aren’t subject to a turnover order”. Which pissed the judge off enough to bring her gavel out.
Riccio says Beardsley eventually told him about other stuff he had – family photos that were found in an old storage locker that had once belonged to OJ’s mom. Riccio agrees with Galanter that these photos would have little commercial value – that they would have the most value to OJ – and that Riccio had even suggested to Beardsley to just bring them to OJ – but Beardsley didn’t want to do that – he didn’t want OJ to know he had them. In Riccio’s mind this lent credence to the fact that they were stolen.
Beardsley faxed pictures to Riccio of the photo albums he had and some of the other things. And Riccio contacted OJ. Riccio says he still thought that OJ was the best customer for the items. OJ confirmed that yeah, these were items that had been stolen from him years ago. Riccio told OJ that Beardsley had the stuff and OJ was angry and frustrated, but excited that there was a chance he could get the items back. Riccio said that OJ had no intentions on getting the stuff back and selling it- that he wanted it back for his own self and as items he could pass down to his children.
Riccio then confirmed that after he spoke to OJ, still unsure as to Beardsley’s intentions, but knowing that Beardsley had admitted to Riccio that the items were stolen, and under advisement from his business partner, he contacted the police department. He contacted the local department in Riverside/Corona. They switched him around to several people and several departments, but ultimately no one was interested. They kept telling Riccio it was a civil matter, and he should contact an attorney. This frustrated Riccio, because he couldn’t understand how this wasn’t a crime- the same crime he had been charged with years ago – only he didn’t know the items he was dealing with were stolen – and here this guy was outright admitting it. The police never sent an officer to his house, or took his statement.
Riccio says that he still wanted this documented – he wanted it known that he had sought help to recover the items, and in his mind this was still a criminal matter. So when he had a meeting with the FBI about another Anna Nicole deal he was involved with, he asked their advice. And actually, he wanted them to be there during the recovery – he wanted FBI agents standing at the ready in the next room to arrest these men who had stolen OJ’s property and were trying to sell it.
They, too, were uninterested. They, too, told him to get a lawyer and have his lawyer contact the other guy’s lawyer.
Galanter then asks about what Riccio heard Beardsley tell the Las Vegas Metro police. Riccio says he heard Beardsley tell the police that the items were stolen. He says Beardsley told the LVPD “OJ is just upset that this stuff was stolen years ago by Mike Gilbert from his trophy room.”
Galanter asks if LVPD ever asked Riccio about his efforts to get help from other law enforcement agencies, and Riccio says “I don’t recall if they asked me – but I told them.” But they weren’t interested, either. Riccio says he asked them why thy weren’t interested in the fact that these items were stolen and they said that they had bigger issues to deal with with the robbery.
Galanter asks Riccio why he wanted to help OJ – and Riccio says it was a combination of his friendship with OJ and his desire to make money. And also about “righting a wrong”.
Galanter then elicits testimony about he evolution of the plan – the same as Riccio testified to on direct, really, the meeting at the pool, OJ running his mouth and telling everyone who would listen about the recovery of his stolen items – much to Riccio’s chagrin, he says he wanted to keep this whole thing “undercover”. Riccio says he was afraid that OJ was going to tell the wrong person, and that that person would be on a cell phone calling Beardsley saying :”Hey OJ’s over here saying you have his stolen property.” Riccio even says that his friend Lowell Kat, who had never met OJ before, got the whole story of the stolen property from OJ.
Riccio then explains (again) about why the deal went down in Vegas instead of California, why it happened at his room instead of anywhere else, about Beardsley arriving at the Palace Station first, they went and got a hamburger, they discussed the plan, and Riccio was trying to get him to say on tape it was stolen, because he knew Beardsley was criminally insane and had once run over he mayor of Burbank. He couldn’t get Beardsley to say it was stolen on tape, but he did get him saying he didn’t want OJ to know anything about it, which was the same thing .in Riccio’s mind. Beardsley didn’t want OJ to know about it because Beardsley knew the items were stolen from him.
Galanter tries to get Riccio to say that Fromong was present when Beardsley said the items were stolen – but Riccio won’t say it. Even though Galanter shows him prior testimony where he said that Fromong was “in the room”. Riccio says :”Yeah, but look, I said in that testimony that Fromong was on the phone”. Galanter won’t give it up – he says Fromong was still “present”. Riccio says whatever – but he was on the phone.
Galanter asks if Riccio is changing his testimony – and Riccio says he isn’t changing it – just clarifying it. But Galanter reminds Riccio that his memory was fresher a year ago at the preliminary hearing.
Galanter says “What is it? You don’t want to say Fromong heard Beardsley – and Riccio says “I don’t want to give him another heart attack.”
Riccio discussed meeting Fromong and bringing the stuff into the room and arranging it on the bed – he says he tried hard to prominently display the stuff he knew OJ wanted – he had told the men not to even bring the other stuff to the room.
Eventually Riccio gets to the part where OJ and the others come, Galanter gets him to say no one broke into the room -t hat they were invited, thereby negating a breaking and entering charge against Stewart and OJ, and Riccio says there was no mention of guns on the tape – no one said “Put the gun down”. And Fromong never said to OJ – “Hey, I’m the legal owner of this property:” even when OJ was accusing him of stealing it.
Riccio thought for a minute it was “mission accomplished” when OJ and the others came in – Fromong and Beardsley were apologetic and pushing the stuff towards OJ.
Then it went South when the two men started arguing about Montana lithos, and the bald black guy took out a gun.
Galanter says “So the incident ends, everyone leaves….” And Riccio says “Well you skipped over the part with the gun, but yeah…”
Galanter then gets Riccio to testify again that OJ said he would bring all the stuff to the front desk that wasn’t his, that he only wanted his stuff. That he never said to Riccio “Gee I’d really like to get my hands on some Joe Montana lithos – that this was all about family heirlooms not caps and cell phones.
Galanter then asks Riccio about how much money he has really made on this incident. Riccio says, even though he didn’t want to and kept saying at first the he :”couldn’t disclose” – he finally says, under court order, that he made $150,000 from TMZ for the recording.
ABC paid him $15,000 for an interview – disguised as a picture. ABC can’t pay subjects for interviews, so, ostensibly, they pay for pictures or other things, with the bonus of an interview thrown in. That way they keep their “journalistic integrity”. ET paid him $25,000. The Howard Stern show paid $20,000 – through a sponsor. Stern has his journalistic integrity, too.
The n Riccio wrote a book – which he is quick to point out isn’t really “about” this, it’s less than 40 pages of the book – although Galanter points out it *is* a picture of Riccio and OJ on the cover.
Galanter also says that in the book Riccio comes right out and says that he’s interested in making as much money as he can from this – and Riccio just says “Yeah, I am.”
Bryson crosses for Stewart and elicits nothing new – he makes the points that Riccio didn’t call Stewart when Beardsley first contacted him. That Stewart wasn’t there for the planning or he 6 weeks prior, that Riccio didn’t know Stewart, that when Riccio went to the Palms pool he went to meet OJ – not Stewart. And that Riccio wasn’t even sure that Stewart was at the pool area. Riccio admits that Stewart wasn’t a significant participant in this whole thing – and that he’s not even sure Stewart’s voice can be heard on the recordings. And Riccio never saw him take anything out of the room.
Bryson then tries to prove that since Riccio isn’t tech savvy enough to upload the files from the recorder onto a computer, that he doesn’t really know if their integrity was compromised when his business partner did it. Riccio says :”well, I watched him do it, there was nothing scandalous going on.”
Bryson then asks about Riccio’s *other* deal, not the one with TMZ, the one with the state of Nevada – the immunity deal. Riccio says that was all his lawyer’s doing, Riccio didn’t think he needed an immunity deal because he didn’t do anything illegal. Bryson shows him the immunity deal, anyway. And Riccio says :Yeah, that’s it.”
Bryson asks what Riccio’s cut of the book is, Riccio says 15% – that’s $20,000 to date.
When Owens gets up to re-direct the first thing he says to Riccio is “How’s the book doing?” And Riccio says “Not as good as Mike Gilbert’s book about the murder.”
Owens then asks about the letter of immunity and if Riccio realizes that that isn’t a blanket immunity for perjury – and Riccio says he knows that.
Owens asks if the FBI and he police departments all cautioned him about going forward with the plan, and Riccio says “I guess so”.
Owens then asks about the other people who were advising OJ – like OJ’s lawyer Willy Singleton and OJ’s sister – who Riccio had previously said were at the pool and told OJ this didn’t sound like it was a good idea.
Owens asks Riccio about his desire to keep the whole incident “undercover”. Owens says if Riccio was so intent on keeping it quiet – why did he want to televise it on ET? Riccio says “Well, that would have been after the incident was concluded – it’s not like the networks would have announced on the airwaves that they were going to do this.
Owens then tries to get Riccio to admit that Beardsley never says the stuff is stolen – Owens points out that Riccio tried unsuccessfully to get Beardsley to admit it on the tape and he couldn’t – Owens asks why Riccio didn’t just say “But Al, you told me this stuff was stolen, didn’t you?” Owens also says that Beardsley actually says on the tape that if Riccio tries to claim this is stolen stuff, he’ll sue Riccio. Riccio says that he was out in the hallway when Beardsley says this – he wasn’t in the room where the recorder was.
Owens then makes his best point – that when Riccio was in the room and OJ was yelling at Riccio – so as to not blow his cover – that the gunman was right next to Riccio and OJ was turned in Riccio’s direction yelling at Riccio. It seems like, from that description, there is no way that OJ could not have seen a gun.
Owens then gets into real trouble with the judge when he gets Riccio to say he only saw one gun – but in his prior testimony he said with GUNS drawn – more than one.
Galanter objects that Owens can’t impeach his own witness – and the judge tells them all they are going to get a judicial time out.
Owens then asks Riccio if he’s hedging because he doesn’t want to get OJ in trouble – and Riccio says that he’s just here to tell the truth. He tells Owens that there’s nothing Riccio can say as to whether or not OJ actually saw guns in the room. He just doesn’t know.
Galanter brings out on re-cross that Beardsley has pending litigation with Riccio over the book – Beardsley is suing him for writing the book without Beardsley’s permission.
Bryson, not to be left out, also asks Riccio if he saw whether or not Stewart knew there were guns in the room. Riccio doesn’t even remember Stewart, so he doesn’t know. Bryson also elicits testimony about Riccio on the tape going from “I thought I saw a gun” to “I saw a gun” to “There were guns” – which was one of the points Galanter should have focused on, I think.
Then there are jury questions:
1. Was there a black man standing directly in front of Fromong that was not Mr. Simpson? ANSWER: I wasn’t focused on anyone except Mr. Simpson, Fromong and Beardsley – there were people moving around all over.
2. Do you normally tape record your phone conversations fro leverage in your business deals? ANSWER: Just the crazy ones or the ones I think I might have problems with later.
3. What kind of vehicle did Fromong drive – a van or a truck? ANSWER: I think it was a truck.
4. Form your position did you ever see Simpson move his arms in an up and down motion? ANSWER: He was waving his arms around – he was animated.
5. Was the gun ever pointed at anyone else besides you? ANSWER: Yeah, Fromong and Beardsley when they wouldn’t give up the stuff that was theirs – the cell phone
6. Did Simpson ever move his arms up and down like in a “put that down” motion? ANSWER: I didn’t take it like that – I just thought he was excited and animated.
7. Why did you not conduct the deal at the Horseshoe Hotel? ANSWER: OJ Had the final decision and he nixed it.
8. Why did you record the phone calls after the incident? ANSWER: At that point I thought it would be good to document everything – I wish I hadn’t. I didn’t know these things would be played in open court.
9. Why did you not take the recommendations of Law enforcement and file civil proceedings? ANSWER: It wasn’t my civil suit, it wasn’t my stuff. I had no need to contact a lawyer about the stolen items. That was OJ’s stuff, not mine.
Riccio is done. He is excused from the stand.
Next up is Charles Ehrlich.
Who is also known as “Charlie Tuna”, so he says.
On direct examination David Roger brings Ehrlich through his relationship with OJ – Ehrlich met him 8 years ago – they are good friends, Ehrlich has been to his house many times. Ehrlich knows his family and has been to OJ’s house for family events.
Ehrlich sys he also knows Tom Scotto – he is a friend of OJ’s and his – Ehrlich has known him 4 or 5 years – and he and OJ are very good friends. In 2007 Ehrlich got an invitation to Scotto’s wedding. He was planning on attending. He made arrangements to go to Vegas for the wedding and made arrangements to stay at the Palms – where the wedding party and OJ were staying. Ehrlich arrived Wednesday, the day before the incident.
Ehrlich then gets into the specifics of the pool meeting at the Palms. He says that when he and OJ first got there that there was no discussion about the memorabilia – that didn’t happen until an hour later when Riccio showed up.
Ehrlich can’t be very specific about who was there – he didn’t know these people.
When Riccio showed up OJ was talking about how there were these fellows in town who had 100K worth of his merchandise – it had been stolen from him years ago – he said that one of the guys testified in his behalf at the civil trial and he knew these guys. He wanted me to act as a buyer and go look at the property and then tell him what was there and if this stuff was his. Although he was not familiar with memorabilia and he didn’t know how he would know if it was OJ’s. He agreed to the plan because he was a friend, and he though it was harmless.
Ehrlich says that Stewart was there – he didn’t know him before that day. He thinks Stewart was participating in the conversation – but he’s not sure. Ehrlich says the plan at that point was for him to be the buyer – go to the room and see what was there. He didn’t know at this point where this was to all take place. One of OJ’s friends was supposed to pick them up and bring them wherever it was they were to be going.
Ehrlich says that when he first met Tom Riccio -he thought he was “Sketchy”. Ehrlich says he felt uncomfortable about this whole deal – Riccio was saying “It has to be today.” And Ehrlich was tired and he felt uneasy. Ehrlich says he didn’t mind doing a favor for OJ but Ehrlich thought these people might be expecting him to show up with a bunch of money and he didn’t know what would happen if he didn’t.
Ehrlich says he did not know that he was being recorded.
At the end of the palms pool meeting it was clear this whole thing was going to go down that night. And he agreed to participate.
Ehrlich went back to his room, planning on meeting OJ at 6 at the bar at the Palms. OJ eventually showed up at he bar – and soon after Cashmore came in. Ehrlich said he thought Cashmore was a security guard. He seemed to be dressed that way.
Ehrlich says they were supposed to get picked up by one of OJ’s friends. They were running late. Ehrlich says he was only worried about getting to Little Buddha at 8 o’clock for dinner with Tom Scotto. OJ was calling the ride to see where they were, but Ehrlich is not sure who that was.
Eventually they went to the valet area and a green Navigator pulled up. CJ Stewart was driving and Tom Scotto was in the front seat. Tom’s fiancé and his future mother in law were in the back seat. They got out of the vehicle and Ehrlich and Cashmore got in. Tom asked OJ if it was OK if he didn’t go – he had last minute wedding stuff to do with his fiancé. OJ said that was fine. OJ got in front – CJ was still driving.
They went to the Palace Station and parked in the parking lot – Ehrlich and Cashmore got out of the vehicle and walked into the lobby of the hotel. OJ told Ehrlich to call Riccio and tell him they were there. Ehrlich says he called Riccio and said they were downstairs – and asked what room he was in. Riccio said he would be right down and abruptly hung up. This made Ehrlich very suspicious. He couldn’t understand why Riccio wouldn’t give them the room number.
Riccio appeared in the lobby moments later – OJ and 2 other black guys who Ehrlich had never seen before came in with him. Ehrlich says he was never introduced to these guys. The whole party just followed Riccio to his room.
Ehrlich says there was no discussion on the way to the room. Riccio had said at the pool that we were going to do this at the other fellows room – so Ehrlich was confused when Riccio pulled out a key and opened the room door – he wondered why he had a key to this room. Ehrlich says he and Chasmore – who were at the head of the line – walked in first. Then everyone barged in from behind them. Ehrlich says he had no clue what was going on – he thought these people behind him could have been undercover police friends of OJ’s or something. Ehrlich sys he remembers seeing Beardsley, Fromong and Riccio in the room. He saw them briefly and said Hello, and then everyone burst in.
Then all of a sudden someone pulled a gun out. The black guy with the bald head had the gun. It was being waved around. He pulled this gun out shortly after the yelling and commotion started to happen. He was yelling stuff and Ehrlich thinks he said something about being in law enforcement. Ehrlich was thinking “What am I doing here? Who are these guys?” OJ told him to put the gun away.
Roger asks if Ehrlich is sure OJ said that. And Ehrlich says yes.
Roger points out that Ehrlich has said this twice in previous statements. And that Ehrlich brought this up – not the police. Ehrlich says that when OJ said this that the gunman did put the gun away. Ehrlich saw another gun in the room – it was in the jacket of the other guy in the suit. He didn’t take the gun out – but Ehrlich could see it.
Ehrlich says that Fromong and Beardsley were frisked – guys were frisking them and “pushing them around”.
Ehrlich says that there was a lot of shouting – that someone started talking about taking the items – OJ was yelling at Fromong and Beardsley and Mike Gilbert’s name was mentioned. The victims were trying to be humble – they were scared and apologetic.
Ehrlich said the victims didn’t pack anything up – they weren’t moving at all. Cashmore got a pillowcase and started packing stuff up – there was a box on the floor and someone yelled at Ehrlich to take it and Ehrlich says he did. Ehrlich says that he would have picked up the toilet at that point – Ehrlich picked up the box and left the room. He says that he was the first one to leave and Cashmore was right behind him. Ehrlich says he didn’t see anyone else leave. Ehrlich left, found the vehicle and put down the box. Cashmore had caught up with him and Ehrlich said to Cashmore “What the hell was that? Who were those guys?”
Ehrlich says they were at the vehicle about 3 minutes before OJ and Mr. Stewart returned. The other 2 black guys weren’t with him. Everyone started putting stuff in the SUV. One of the guys cell phone and one of the Montana lithos was in the stuff. OJ asked why they took that stuff. The 4 of them got into the SUV and they went back to the Palms Hotel. At some point on the ride back OJ was on the phone. He was angry, but Ehrlich doesn’t know who he was talking to.
Ehrlich says when they got out of the car another car pulled up beside them – it was a black car. The 2 black guys with the guns were in it – they said to OJ :Don’t take the stuff up tot he room – we’ll take it.”
There was also a White Infinity behind them. The windows were very tinted – Ehrlich thought there was a woman inside.
Ehrlich says he got out and headed back to the hotel. He had nothing with him. Ehrlich says he was quite upset. Pissed even. OJ yelled “Hold up!” to him and he caught up with him. OJ had nothing with him, either. When they got to OJ’s room Christy was there. OJ said to her “I’m going to need a bail bondsmen – I fucked up.”
OJ then sat down and made a phone call. Ehrlich doesn’t know to who.
Ehrlich said he was upset with OJ. He said to OJ “OJ, there were guns there!” OJ said “There were no guns.” Ehrlich said “OJ What are you talking about? There were guns!” And OJ started mumbling to himself. OJ was mumbling “Why did I ask those guys to come?” Ehrlich says OJ was in denial.
Roger then asks the witness about the charges and sentences he is facing. Ehrlich has pled guilty to several of the charges that OJ and Stewart are facing. He has pled guilty to Attempted Robbery as an accessory and Attempted Burglary, with the understanding that there will be no recommendation by the state at sentencing. His ultimate sentence will be up to Judge Glass.
Yale Galanter gets up to cross examine and immediately brings up the fact that he and Charlie Tuna are somewhat friends. They’ve known each other for like 15 years. They live in the same neighborhood and frequent the same places. Galanter makes it clear that although they know each other, they haven’t discussed the specifics of this case.
Galanter asks Charlie Tuna if Charlie and OJ like to go to the track together – Tuna says yeah, and they watch football together and travel together and they are friends. Tuna has been to OJ’s house, they’ve spent family holidays together, and Tuna is fond of OJ – they are very good friends.
And court ends for the day.
To Sum it Up: Tom Scotto can now be considered the luckiest fucker alive; Everyone named Charlie has a nickname with Tuna in it; When you have a conspiracy, you can either come out of it with $200K or pleading guilt to Attempted Robbery, depending on whether or not you went to Radio Shack the day before the conspiracy goes down. If you want to keep your journalistic integrity, make sure your interviewee has a photograph you can buy.