NV. vs. Simpson – Step Away from the Pimp
Posted by thedarwinexception on September 24, 2008
So the judge takes the bench today and announces that No, David Cook, the attorney for the Goldman’s will NOT be testifying in front of the jury. So the state can now call their next witness.
And that would be Walter Alexander, one of the gunmen.
Alexander takes the stand – with his bible in his hand. He testifies that “CJ:” Stewart is one of his few friends in town – and that on the day of the incident CJ asked him to call OJ, because OJ needed his help with something.
OJ was an old friend of Alexander’s – he had met OJ on the golf course 15 years before (and I admit it, when he said he met OJ on the golf course, I was expecting him to add “while he was looking for the real killers”).
So, Alexander is with his friend Spencer McClinton, and he calls OJ – and can’t get in touch with him. He was headed towards the Palms Hotel, anyway, for some Scotto wedding stuff, and he knew OJ was staying at the Palms, but he didn’t know what name OJ was registered under. So Alexander called OJ’s daughter Arnelle to get OJ’s contact information. Arnelle gave him OJ’s room number and he reached OJ at his room. They talked very briefly and OJ told them to come by.
When Alexander and McClinton walked into OJ’s room, there were already two men in there who were just on their way out.
Owens plays the end of tape 4 and asks Alexander if he recognizes himself and McClinton, and Tom Riccio. The witness seems very surprised. He asks “Oh – was that Riccio in the room when I walked in?” The judge tells him he can’t ask questions – and the witness says “Well, until this moment I did not realize that was Riccio that was in the room.”
There was Spencer McClinton, Alexander and OJ in the room. Alexander says he had introduced OJ to McClinton on a couple of prior occasions, but that McClinton was his friend, not OJ’s.
Alexander says they chit chatted for a bit and that then OJ explained to Alexander and McClinton that there were some guys in town who had some stolen property of his – and he needed to get it back. He said he needed someone to watch his back and could Alexander do it? Alexander says he told OJ “Of course I got your back.”
Alexander says that OJ then asked if he would be able to “get some heat”. Spencer told OJ – “No problem, I got plenty of heat.” McClinton then said to OJ that he had a gun permit – and asked if OJ wanted to see it. He pulled out his license and showed it to OJ.
Oj then told them that he wanted them to bring “heat”, but that they probably wouldn’t have to take them out – just have them and open their jackets where they could be seen. So that the people would know that they meant business. OJ said he didn’t know if there would be guns there or not, but that there might be, and he wanted to be covered.
OJ said he didn’t think there would be a problem – that this stuff belonged to him and that once these people saw him they would give him the stuff back. He just wanted the guys to look tough – and to make sure OJ was protected.
Alexander says that he asked OJ “What if they call the police?” And OJ said “Fuck the police – it’s my shit! What are they going to do? Take me to jail for taking my own shit?”
OJ then told Alexander and McClinton that he would rather see the Goldman’s have the shit than have these people have it to sell it.
Then OJ”s girlfriend came in and she ha a little dog with her and the conversation turned light and they chatted a bit and left.
Alexander says that when he and McClinton left they went to a spy shop. They thought that this might be a chance for them to make some money – and if anything went wrong they would have evidence – so they went to get a video recorded and an audio recorded – they thought that this was bound to be a big story and that they would be able to sell the tapes to the tabloids. They bought a few items, but the store didn’t have the exact thing that they wanted. They tried to get this all together – but the devices ended up not working – or they didn’t know how to make them work.
Alexander says he’d never done anything like that before – but he had become somewhat disenchanted with OJ in the previous months and he just figured he’d make some money off of his friend.
Going to the spy store, then going back to McClinton’s to change and try to get the recording devices working made them late for their planned meeting with OJ. Alexander says OJ kept calling asking where they were and if they had the “heat”. Alexander says OJ was a little tipsy and he sounded anxious, saying “I need you all to get back.”
Alexander says that originally the plan was for he and McClinton to go to the Palms and that they would all go to the Palace Station together, but that they were so late they decided to just meet at the Palace Station. Eventually McClinton just put the camera in his belt buckle and strapped the audio device on himself and when he came out of his room he had two guns. He handed one to Alexander and put one in the holster on his arm.
When they got in the car Alexander put his gun in the glove compartment – he was leery about bringing it. They then proceeded to the Palace Station Hotel. We talked to CJ on the phone on the way to the Palace Station. CJ and OJ were together. We met them in the parking lot of the Palace Station. They had two other gentlemen with them, Cashmore and Ehrlich – two men Alexander had never seen before.
Owens then plays the video of the Palace Station and the men entering the lobby. Alexander identifies the parties.
Alexander says that they sat there in the lobby for five minutes or so waiting for Riccio, Ehrlich and Cashmore to figure out the plan – it had changed from what OJ had explained it to be to Alexander and McClinton when they met him at CJ’s vehicle. OJ had said that Ehrlich and Cashmore were going to act as buyers, but now it seemed that plan was being scrapped. When Riccio showed up in the lobby he said “let’s all just go in” – so Alexander and McClinton were waiting while they worked all that out.
Eventually Riccio got everyone straight on the “new plan” and they all followed Riccio to the room.
At this point Alexander had his gun in his waistband and McClinton had his gun in his arm holster. They both had suit jackets on and they were open.
They waited at the door while Riccio opened it with his key. Then OJ told McClinton to take the gun out and put it in his hand. Alexander says that it was at this point that he realized he was taking part in a robbery. He says he really wanted to just leave at that point, but he didn’t want to seem like a coward – and he had told OJ that he would have his back, but he really didn’t want to go in the room once the gun was out.
Alexander says that Riccio opened the door and went in, with Ehrlich and Cashmore right behind him – then McClinton entered brandishing the weapon and telling everyone in the room to “Freeze!” Then McClinton yelled :Everybody over here!” and then CJ entered the room and started frisking Fromong and Beardsley for weapons. Alexander says that he and OJ were the last to enter. Alexander says that when he entered the room he saw Riccio’s reflection in the bathroom mirror and thought there were people in the bathroom. Fromong was in the left corner on his phone and Beardsley was on the left side of the bed near the window.
Alexander is then shown the diagram and places everyone where he remembers they were, although he says that there was movement in the room.
When OJ entered the room he came in yelling and shouting orders like “:Shut the door, Don’t let nobody out of here”. McClinton was making sure that everyone was in check – making sure people didn’t move around. Then McClinton started yelling “Bag it up! Bag this shit up!”, and he stood next to OJ with the gun – he was pointing it at Fromong and Beardsley, although he did point it at Riccio at some point, because it was not supposed to be known to Fromong and Beardsley that Riccio was part of the plan.
Then everyone started grabbing the pillowcases and started putting stuff into the pillowcases and into boxes.
The victims were trying to blame the fact that they had this property on someone else – and OJ told them to “get that motherfucker on the phone.”
After a few moments OJ told McClinton to put the gun down – he made a “put it down” motion with his hand.
Alexander says his gun never left his waistband. He never took it out. He says that if he hadn’t told the DA he had a gun, he probably wouldn’t have known, because the only ones who knew he had the gun were McClinton and OJ. Although others could have seen it – his jacket was open and he was bending down picking up stuff and putting property into pillowcases.
OJ had said to make sure everyone knew he had the gun, but Alexander says he wasn’t trying to do that. Alexander says the room was covered – he thought that he only had the gun there for his protection – but since he never felt threatened he didn’t feel the need to take it out.
Alexander says that he, CJ, Cashmore and Ehrlich were boxing the stuff up – McClinton was still controlling the room and OJ was still yelling. Alexander had taken the phone from Fromong – OJ told him to give the phone back to Fromong so that he could call Mike Gilbert. Alexander says he threw the phone on the bed. the he left the room. Before he left he did unplug the house phone – he was concerned that they would be on the phone with police the minute they left the room. Alexander says he left the room with a box that contained lithos and the sunglasses that were on the floor at one point. He also says he picked Fromong’s cell phone up off the bed and took that, too, so they couldn’t call police. Alexander says he was the last one to leave the room.
Alexander says when he was in the hallway OJ saw that he had Fromong’s phone and OJ said to Alexander “Man, give the guy his phone back – what you doing with his phone.” So Alexander says he walked back down the hallway to return the phone but then realized he didn’t know which room he had just come out of. And it occurred to him that if he stood there looking for too long, they were sure to be on the phone with the police and Alexander was going to get caught just trying to return this guy’s phone.
Since OJ had already told the men that anything that wasn’t his would be returned, Alexander decided to just put the phone with the stuff that was to be returned and get it to them later. Although at that point nothing was left at the front desk. All the property was taken and put into the back of CJ’s car. The lithos, glasses and phone that Alexander had went in the back of McClinton’s car.
Alexander and McClinton followed CJ’s vehicle to the Palms. They pulled up behind CJ’s vehicle and OJ said to McClinton – “Man, they done called the police – we’ve got to get all that stuff that isn’t mine back to them.” So Alexander and McClinton took everything that was in their vehicle and Alexander says that everyone was transferring the items into a third vehicle – it was a white Navigator. Alexander didn’t know how this vehicle got there or who was driving it. Alexander says that he just wanted to get out of there – he and McClinton still had their weapons on them and OJ had already said the police had been called.
OJ was standing at the back of the vehicle and he was on the telephone – he kept repeating to everyone “Just remember – there were no guns – there were no guns.” Alexander says that when OJ was saying that to everyone, he wasn’t really worried about “guns – No guns”, or debating this fact with OJ – all he could think about was how he was going to get out of this mess. He says he knew at this point that he was in a world of trouble and that this was an armed robbery – at least, that’s the way it was going to look to the the police and the media.
Then Alexander and McClinton went back to McClinton’s house. They knew that OJ had told them to bring guns, and since he was now telling everyone that there were no guns, they needed to get OJ on tape saying that he told them to bring guns – so they were panicking trying to get the recording device to work. Alexander says he was up in his room trying to get in touch with his attorney and his bail bondman because he knew this was going to turn into a big mess. He and McClinton kind of knew that OJ was going to try to blame all of this on them. An they knew that there were cameras in every casino in town, and it was just a matter of time before they were identified.
They finally got the audio recorder to work, and they changed and went back to the Palms – to the Little Buddha sushi bar where they were supposed to meet everyone form the weeding for a pre wedding dinner. They were hoping to get OJ on tape.
At the Little Buddha OJ was laughing and boisterous. He was saying “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas, Not If You’re OJ”. And when he saw McClinton and Alexander he was calling them “heavy handed”, referring to the guns from earlier in the evening.
Alexander talked to OJ and OJ was still saying “there were no guns”. Alexander says he told OJ “OJ, it’s going to be all over the news tomorrow, dude.” OJ said “It ain’t nothing. It ain’t no problem. As long as we say there were no guns, it ain’t nothing. It’s my stuff, there ain’t nothing we can do about it. We’re going to give them their stuff back. Just say there weren’t no guns.” Alexander says he then asked OJ – “Hey, Juice, you know, my money’s kind of short right now, if I go to jail are you going to bail me out?” And Alexander says OJ’s response to that was to throw his head back and laugh. And OJ said to Alexander “Nigger, If you get out of town you don’t have to worry about going to jail.” Alexander says this really made him upset because he thought “well, here this guy’s going to get me in all this trouble and all he’s going to say to me is get out of town?” And Alexander was also upset because the only reason he had come to Vegas was to go to the wedding – and he wasn’t even going to get to stay to attend it. Alexander says he thought for sure that the police were going to be at that wedding and arrest everyone. We asked OJ how much this stuff was worth and he told us “Depends on who’s buying it. It could be 100K.” Alexander says he asked OJ – “Well, you gonna throw me a ball or something?” And OJ just threw his head back and laughed again.
It was at that point that McClinton told Alexander “This guy’s going to throw us under the bus. He isn’t going to do shit for us.” So McClinton went to the bathroom to make sure the recording device he had on him was working. Then McClinton and Alexander went to the bar where OJ was sitting and talked to OJ some more trying to get him on tape. Alexander says it all seemed funny to OJ – and OJ just kept repeating :Just say there were no guns and all this shit will blow over. This ain’t no problem.”
So Alexander went to the airport to get out of town. After CJ’s party the next day. OJ was supposed to be at the party – but he didn’t come.
Alexander says before he got to the airport he already knew that he was going to jail because he tried to get his ticket online and couldn’t. Since he had never had a problem with that before, he figured something was up. When McClinton was dropping him off at the airport, Alexander told him “Look, dude, I’m getting arrested. And if I go to jail, I’m telling the truth – so tell the truth and our stories will match. I’m not going to go down for OJ.”
While Alexander was at the desk trying to get his ticket he got a tap on his shoulder. It was the police. They asked if they could search his luggage and Alexander told them that the memorabilia wasn’t in there. They asked him if his suit was – you know the one he was wearing in this picture. And they showed him the picture from the hotel cameras. Alexander told them he wanted his lawyer.
Alexander says he spoke with his attorney and decided to cooperate with the investigation. Mostly because David Roger had told him “Look, the first horse to the trough gets the pristine water.” Roger said if Alexander co-operated, he would get the best disposition. Alexander says he didn’t take the deal right away – it wasn’t until months later – that he wasn’t happy with the deal the State was offering.
Owens tells the witness that basically Alexander was the one who broke the case – he was the one who identified the others. Alexander agrees and says he told the authorities what happened that night and showed them where McClinton and CJ lived.
Alexander says that at that time he didn’t know what the deal was – or what the charges would be that he would be pleading to – just that Roger had told him he would get the best disposition. And Alexander’s lawyer told him to cooperate and had spoken with Roger to ensure that Alexander wouldn’t have to pay bail to get out of jail. By cooperating initially with the authorities Alexander was Released on his own Recognizance and eventually pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Robbery. Although this charge has maximum sentence of 6 years, the State will recommend no jail time at the time of sentencing. But the final determination of that is left up to the Judge. There is no promise of no jail time. But if the judge does not agree with the sentencing recommendation it is written into the agreement that Alexander can withdraw his plea and go to trial, with nothing that he has said being used against him.
Alexander says that he really doesn’t want to be testifying against his friends. Hr says that at the dinner the day after the incident, Tom Scotto came up to him and said how sorry he was that Alexander is in all this trouble. Scotto felt guilty that he insisted that Alexander come to his wedding and then got involved in all this. Scotto told Alexander that if he needed anything, to call. Scotto told Alexander “I’m here for you.”
Alexander said that he really took that to heart, and he did call Scotto. He left a message telling Scotto that if he could get help getting an attorney and fighting the charges that he wouldn’t have to testify against OJ and this would be very good for OJ. Alexander explains that he was having second thoughts about taking the deal because Riccio got immunity and Alexander didn’t think that was very fair. The DA wasn’t coming down from a felony charge and that would result in Alexander losing his real estate license. Alexander was thinking that being a co-defendant was looking better than being a witness. But there was no way he could hire an attorney. And that’s why he called Scotto.
Scotto turned the tape over to the police.
Owens then plays the tape recorded message.
On cross examination for Mr. Stewart we have the third of his triumvirate of lawyers – Mr. Charles Jones. Mr Jones kind of sucks as an attorney. It’s like he’s reading from a script of questions and when the witness doesn’t answer the question the way he anticipates – he keeps with his script anyway because he can’t think on his feet to veer from the script. It’s actually kind of painful to watch. I don’t like Bryson, but he has more skill as an examiner than this guy.
Every other question he gets objections from the state and he has to “rephrase”. Then he tries to impeach the witness with a prior statement when the witness isn’t saying anything different from the prior statement and the judge kind of has to give him a little “Impeachment 101” lesson on how to introduce prior statements and when and how he’s allowed to do that. Apparently the lesson from the bench ion open court isn’t enough of a lesson, because everyone then goes up to a sidebar to give Jones an extended lesson.
Oh – and he didn’t elicit anything new in his cross.
The only point he made was, oddly enough, in his very last statement to the witness when he said “So let me get this right – you were the one who took the glasses, you were the one who took the phone, you were the one who took the lithos, you unplugged the phone in the hotel room before you left, and you were the one that brought a gun to the room – but you have no jail time.”
Honestly, he should have stood up, said that, and sat down, it would have been more effective than all that other shit he said.
Then Galanter gets up to cross.
Galanter reminds the witness that they spoke extensively at the preliminary hearing. He asks the witness if he has had an opportunity to review that testimony. And asks if the court reporter got everything right. The witness answers yes to both questions.
So Galanter asks the witness if it’s true that he got caught at the airport and that the witness realized he was in trouble. The witness says yes, this is true
Galanter says “You’ve already contacted your lawyer, you’ve discussed your need for a bail bondsman, an you knew that you were going to be incarcerated for armed robbery.” Yes, yes and yes.
Galanter asks if the witness was headed to California to meet with his attorney and the witness says no, he was going home to Phoenix and then on to California.
And Galanter says, well, yeah, but you weren’t turning yourself in at that point. There was already media attention bout this and you knew the police were looking for you and you weren’t calling them. You were leaving.
Alexander says :”Well, I don’t live here.”
Galanter says “But you knew that Law Enforcement was looking for you”> And Alexander says “They weren’t looking for me – they didn’t know who I was – there was no warrant for me.”
Galanter asks “:Well, how would you know that?” And Alexander says that he heard on the news that they didn’t know who these men were.
Galanter then goes into Alexander’s initial negotiations with the police and how it was that he ended up getting his deal. Galanter is trying to bring to the juries attention that before there was a formal deal, even on that very first night when Alexander was taken into custody, that someone was pulling some strings somewhere, because Alexander walked out of the Clark County Police Station with no bail, on his own recognizance. And for someone facing Armed Robbery charges, that was a pretty rare thing – to be ROR’d. So Galanter wants to know what exactly was discussed that night and what Alexander told them.
Galanter wants to know what Alexander wanted – and what the police wanted and who got what they wanted and at what price.
Eventually Galanter gets Alexander to say that he wanted to walk out of there without posting bond – that was a concern of Alexander’s. And that Alexander’s other concern was not going to prison.
And then Galanter gets into the plea agreement Alexander eventually made – and how the deal has the built in back door clause that Alexander can withdraw his plea if the judge sentences him to any jail time. That the DA, in this case, took away the discretionary power of the judge.
The state objects to this and says that the judge always has the final say and discretionary power – but Galanter points out that this isn’t so in this agreement – that absolute discretion is hampered in this case.
Galanter then asks the witness if he is aware of the fact that if the judge imposes a sentence of jail time, and Alexander backs out of his plea agreement, that the DA would then have the discretion to drop all the charges and not charge Alexander with anything at all – that Judge Glass has no power to force the DA to charge anyone. The DA’s office would not need her permission to dismiss the charges.
Galanter then says to the witness – “So the fact that you got ROR’d, then you got a guarantee of probation, then you got the DA’s office to strip the judge of discretionary power, then they put a loophole in the agreement wherein they could dismiss your charges all together – you weren’t happy with that deal? You’ve said you weren’t happy with the deal they offered you.”
Alexander says :”well, after I accepted the deal I went to David Roger and thanked him. Once I accepted that this was a robbery.”
Galanter asks when that was, and the witness says in October of 07 when he accepted the deal.
Galanter says “Ok, so it wasn’t until after you spoke with Roger and Law Enforcement that you came to the realization that you may have done something illegal?”
Alexander says “No, the night before I signed the deal I prayed on it and asked God what to do, and the Bible said that I should tell the truth…”
“Because up to that point you weren’t telling the truth?” Galanter interjects.
Alexander continues “No, I had told the truth. I just knew then that I had to accept responsibility and go before the judge…”
“And get probation…” Galanter offers.
“So finally it came down to take our deal with the ROR and probation or go to trial and face prison for life and you needed divine intervention with that decision?” Galanter asks sarcastically.
Galanter then gets back to the “pre-interview” Alexander had with the police and what was talked about – he wants to know what Alexander offered to make the DA’s office offer Alexander this deal he eventually got. The fact that the DA’s office took extraordinary steps in the agreement to ensure that Alexander won’t go to jail intrigues Galanter somehow and since the info the DA’s got in that pre-interview was the basis for that deal, he wants to know what Alexander offered in return.
Especially since he knows that Alexander was not happy with OJ at this time. And hadn’t been for some months.
He asks Alexander about this and Alexander says that he had asked OJ for help in April after Alexander’s father died and Alexander wasn’t able to bury him. OJ refused to help and this made Alexander “disappointed”. Galanter says that Alexander asked OJ for $10,000, but Alexander says this isn’t true – that he never specified an amount.
Galanter then asks about the Scotto tape.
He has the witness testify that Scotto is probably OJ’s best friend. And Galanter asks the witness why he would call OJ’s best friend to ask for financial help. Alexander says because Scotto told him to call if he needed help – so he did.
Galanter says :”But you didn’t just ask for financial help – you put a kicker on it.”
Alexander says he never asked for financial help – just help.
Galanter plays the tape again.
Galanter then points out to Alexander that he’s not only asking for financial help, he is also making assertions that if he is helped, then he will help all of Scotto’s friends. And he asks Alexander whether or not that’s a solicitation for money. Alexander insists that he wasn’t asking for money – just help He explains again that he wanted a lawyer – that if he was going to become a codefendant instead of a witness, that he would need help with that.
“And the help you needed was financial, right?” Asks Galanter.
Alexander says that the help he needed wasn’t necessarily that money exchange hands – that he could have just hired a lawyer for Alexander. Alexander then offers that he could have hired Galanter.
Galanter then says that on the tape Alexander refers to helping “Our Boy” Galanter asks who Alexander was referring to if not OJ.
Alexander says he would have no problem helping OJ if he had an attorney.
Galanter then reads a portion of the tape transcript to Alexander “If I had some help I would help all I can and I think I can help quite a bit”. He asks Alexander what kind of help he was referring to – how he could help – was that by slanting his testimony? And Alexander turns to the jury and speaks directly to them and tells them that if he was a co-defendant, he wouldn’t be on the stand testifying against OJ – he would be sitting over there at the table next to OJ and keeping his mouth shut. And not being badgered by this man – as he points to Galanter.
Galanter objects and the judge laughs at him and says “Mr. Galanter are you objecting to your own witness?” Then Galanter gets really mad and says “He’s just mad because I’ve told this jury he was trying to shake down one of OJ Simpson’s friends.”
All over the judge saying “Stop stop stop” to no avail as then the State gets up and objects.
With that they take lunch.
When court resumes – it resumes with a bang as the court gets into the fact that Alexander wasn’t always the Bible carrying guy who prays on his major life decisions – he’s also a pimp.
First we have Bryson arguing to the judge that Mr. Jones should have been able to ask the witness if someone came in and offered contradictory testimony if that witness would be wrong – not that they were lying – but that they were wrong. Bryson says that Jones was wrongfully precluded from doing this.
Owens counter with “Yeah, if it’s relative.” And the fact that Alexander is a pimp is not relative. It’s not relative to a material fact in the case. The fact that Alexander made money in other ways other than real estate in the past is not a fact relative to the robbery or the charges in this case. This fact can’t be used to impeach Mr. Alexander – because there’s nothing to impeach. He’s never said that “real estate is my only form of income” – so being a pimp is collateral to anything else. It can’t be used to impeach a prior statement. Owens says that they want to bring in his past and insinuations that he was a panderer or a pimp only to slander the witness.
Alexander’s past employment also can’t be brought in to explain motivation, or credibility, or veracity. Being a pimp doesn’t make you a liar. Nor does Alexander’s pimpness give him some inherent motivation to lie on the stand.
Bryson counters that this is not at all what *he* was talking about – but it *is* what Galanter is going to argue about in a minute, so we have two issues going at one time and Owens has to fend them both off. As does the judge.
Galanter finally gets up and says he has two issues – but he’ll take care of the simple one first. He’s pissed off that Alexander started reading his bible in front of the jury while they were all at sidebar. And Galanter thanks Court TV viewers for bringing this to his attention in the form of 50 emails.
For the more difficult issue, Galanter says that Alexander went to great lengths in his sworn police statement to point out that he made his living as a real estate agent, and that it’s very important for him to protect his income stream. Then he goes on to say “Look, I haven’t lied, I haven’t held anything back, I’m willing to testify, help you any way I can, you know.” What he’s done is to say he’s been completely honest and that he’s helping them and that he needs help in protecting his license, and the truth of the matter is that that’s not how he makes his money. This has nothing to do with impeaching him for a prior bad act. It has to do with impeaching him because he lied under oath. Both in his statement to police and at the preliminary hearing. And he admitted that he lied – so it’s not like we are pulling things out of the air.
The judge then asks Galanter – “Well, look, if he happened to be a Realtor and also a nurse a couple days a week – would you also be impeaching him with that?”
And Galanter says “Oh, absolutely” – but you know that isn’t true, right? You know this is all about this guy being a pimp. Galanter so much as said so in opening statements when he said “We’ve got witnesses who lie on the stand – who sell their testimony and who are PIMPS.” So if this guy was a nurse, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I bet my life on it.
But Galanter says he would still be impeaching him if he was a nurse, because one of the benefits that Alexander wanted was protection of the license. And throughout the statement he says “That is how I earn my living.” That’s not true – that’s a falsehood.
Then when he said he’s not a pimp – we have all the documentation to prove he’s lying again.
Owens then tells the court that Galanter is wrong – Alexander does not say in the statement that this is how he earns his living. All he says in the statement is that CJ is a mortgage broker and he’s a realtor.
Nowhere do the police say “Is that the only income you have or that you’ve ever had?”
The judge then rules, saying that whether or not Alexander is or ever was a pimp is not extrinsic to the facts at hand. It’s not relevant. So forget it, it can’t come in.
And perhaps she learned from yesterday’s fiasco, because this time when Galanter gets up and tries to argue more, instead of breaking down and running off the bench she tells Galanter to forget it and not to say another word. With all the force and bravado she can muster.
And when Bryson asks “what about my motion?” – she tells him “And you’re denied too!”
Then she says “And bring in Mr. What’s His Name and we’ll deal with the Bible.” She makes Alexander give the Bible to his attorney.
And then we are back in front of the jury – with Galanter still on cross.
Back to the Scotto message – “You were intimating in that message, were you not, that if Scotto wrote you a check you would slant your testimony in favor of Mr Simpson.
Alexander says no, he was not.
Galanter reads back Alexander’s preliminary hearing testimony, where Alexander said , in response to pretty much the same question by Galanter “I said I would help him out.”
Alexander agrees that this is what he said, but when Galanter asks if that is a different answer than what he just gave, Alexander only looks confused and Galanter moves on to another question.
Alexander is then asked if it’s true that this message that he left is not the first time he has asked Mr. Scotto for money. Alexander says he doesn’t remember ever asking Scotto for money. Galanter asks if he doesn’t remember being at a party and Alexander going to Scotto saying “Pay me $50,000 and I will slant my testimony towards your direction.” Alexander says he can say without a doubt that he did not say that.
Then Galanter goes to the sworn statement – the one Alexander gave after the ROR and the promises of plea agreements and the best deal available. He asks Alexander if he was completely truthful during that sworn statement. Alexander says he was.
Galanter immediately asks Alexander if he remembers telling the police that he was very concerned about keeping a professional license that he had.
Alexander says yes, he remembers that.
Galanter then asks if Alexander told police that being a licensed realtor was his main source of income. Alexander very deftly deflects the question and simply says “We didn’t get into that.”
Galanter tries to make something more out of what Alexander answered and says “You didn’t tell law enforcement that you needed to protect this real estate license?” And Alexander says “Yes, I did.”
Alexander is very capable at listening to the language of Galanter’s questions. He doesn’t fall into the trap of Galanter using different words for what Alexander actually said and meant, a trap that some of the witnesses before him have fallen in to and then got destroyed by.
Galanter tries to equate “earning a living” with :real “estate license” and tries to use them interchangeably, and Alexander keeps denying one while affirming the other, getting Galanter absolutely no where with the witness.
When the witness out and out says to Galanter – “I expressed concern about keeping my license, but never said it’s because that’s how I earn a living” Galanter finally asks the question he really wants to ask – “Well, then, do you have any other sources of income?” Which only elicits an objection from the state and a trip to the bench. And ends with the judge sustaining the State’s objection.
Galanter then asks Alexander if Alexander told the police – in his honest, forthright statement to them – that Alexander and his friend McClinton were hoping to record this event and make money from it
Alexander is quite sure that he told police officers this. He says he wasn’t trying to hide it – maybe they just didn’t ask about it.
Galanter then asks that witness if it is true that Alexander has gone on television shows – like Court TV, Larry King et. al. and tried to drum up interest and literary agents for his book? The witness agrees that he has, that he needs a publisher. Galanter asks if the witness has had his lawyers try to contact literary agents, and the witness says no, not his lawyers, but, yeah, people have done this on his behalf.
Galanter asks if the witness regards this whole incident as a money making event. Alexander says no, that he was looking at it as a problem he had gotten into. Galanter uses this answer to segue into the whole “But you wanted to be paid to slant your testimony – and you were willing to do that for the highest bidder”, but again Galanter and Alexander are attributing meaning to different words, and Alexander isn’t willing to budge from the very precise language he is using, and Galanter is willing to take the witnesses words and make them equate to something else.
Alexander has said “the case could lean either way” – which is obviously true. There are many ways to look at this case, and it could very well lean either way. That’s a fact. If there was only one way to look at this case, there wouldn’t be two different sides arguing their position.
But Galanter wants the witness to admit that his statement of “the case could lean either way” means exactly the same as “my TESTIMONY could lean either way.” And that’s just not what Alexander said. He said the CASE could lean either way.
Galanter then goes through the whole laundry list of charges originally brought against the witness. And gets down tot he one charge he pled guilty to. And actually, Jones made this point much more effectively – and Jones didn’t list all the charges.
Alexander held up very well against Galanter. And Galanter didn’t ask him ONE question about what happened in room 1203.
I think he knew better.
Owens gets back up to re-direct.
He asks about the Scotto phone call and asks the witness why he called Scotto. The witness says that he was angry that Riccio got immunity – that even though he was the first horse to the trough, someone who came later didn’t have to drink the water at all. Alexander wanted Scotto to get him a lawyer, not necessarily write him a check.
And it wasn’t that he would slant his testimony, the witness says that if Scotto had written him a check, that he would have told everyone that this whole thing was a set up by Riccio, because that’s what the witness thinks it was, even though he hasn’t said that from the stand today. Owens says, “So you would have testified for the defense and put this all off on Riccio?” And the witness says no, I would be sitting over there shutting my mouth not testifying against OJ at all.
Now during this exchange, Owens went up in to the witness box and leaned over Alexander to show him a document. Alexander didn’t look comfortable, but he didn’t object.
When Galanter gets up to re-cross, he, too, goes immediately up into the witness box to lean over Alexander and show him a document. The witness immediately protests and asks Galanter quite forcibly if he could “Back away, please and let me read this” Galanter refuses. He says “No, we are going to do this the exact same way Owens did”. He looks at the judge and says “Mr. Owens did it! I want the same courtesy” and in the meantime, Alexander is still protesting, addressing the court saying “I don’t want him up in my ear yelling. He did this before and I don’t like it!” The Alexander looks at Galanter and says “Step Back please!” And the judge actually comes out of her seat telling Galanter to back off, and the bailiff walks up to the witness box, ready to remove Galanter if he has to.
I think Galanter is lucky Alexander didn’t have a gun in his waistband – because this time he might have brought it out.
Then Jones is back up – and he asks the witness if the witness is aware that if he accepted money or services from someone and then slanted his testimony in the best light to help that person, that this would be illegal. And Alexander says he didn’t say he would do that, that he said the case could lean either was because it was a set up. And that his silence would help OJ, not his testimony.
We finally get to Jury Questions and there are only two – or only two that are approved.
1. Were the sunglasses, phone and litho that you left the room with near each other or did you choose these items specifically? ANSWER: The glasses were on the floor, I picked them up because I almost stepped on them. The phone was on the bed and I took it so the people wouldn’t call the police the minute we left the room, the lithos were in a box by the door and I took it because I was the last one to leave the room.
2. When McClinton gave you the gun did you check to see if it was loaded and fully functioning? ANSWER: No.
Outside the presence of the jury Gil Grasso wants to make a record that when they were attempting to bring in Alexander’s past, they were not attempting to do so to offer them as prior bad acts – or to show he was a panderer – they wanted to bring in these statements because it goes to his credibility. Grasso also points out that since Alexander brought a bible to the stand that there is case law that would allow the defense to cross examine him on how religious he really is.
Owens says that this is still character assassination. And that the defense is trying to impeach the witness by saying tat something Alexander said at a preliminary hearing was untrue – and it wasn’t. At the preliminary hearing he said he had other avenues of support that he would rather not get into – that the defense got into them anyway doesn’t make what the witness said untrue.
The judge makes it clear that this still does not make his past employment record a relevant subject for this trial. And the bible issue was taken care of.
Oh – and she also cautions Galanter in the strongest tone possible that he is NOT to do that whole shit with getting in the witnesses face again. EVER.
Next on the stand is Chuck Cashmore. He lives in Las Vegas and has known CJ Stewart since 1992 – they used to work together in real estate and have remained friends.
Cashmore explains that he was looking for work in 2007 and Stewart had a line on a job for him with some men from Louisiana. On September 13th, he had a meeting with the 2 men at the Rio Hotel.
During the meeting CJ called Cashmore to see how the meeting was going – and they were talking briefly about a party CJ was throwing the next day – Cashmore was to help with party acting as bartender, caterer and server.
Towards the end of the meeting with the Louisiana guys CJ called Cashmore again – this time asking Cashmore to meet him at the Palms – ostensibly to talk about the meeting. So Cashmore headed to the Palms. He called CJ and CJ said he was running late – but Cashmore should go to the bar area and meet OJ Simpson – that OJ knew Cashmore was coming.
Cashmore says that he went and introduced himself to OJ and OJ asked him “Did CJ fill you in?” Thinking that OJ was referring to the party that was to be held the next night, Cashmore said yeah, that CJ had filled him in.
Cashmore says at first OJ was casual – but the later CJ got the more antsy OJ got. CJ called Cashmore again, saying he was on his way, and OJ and he went out to the valet area to await CJ.
When CJ arrived he let off his passengers, and OJ, Cashmore and another gentleman named Ehrlich got into the vehicle. CJ asked Cashmore if he wanted to go tot he Palace Station hotel with them to pick up some of OJ”s stuff that some guy over there had, and Cashmore agreed.
There was only casual conversation on the way over.
When they got to the Palace Station Ehrlich and Cashmore got out – they had been told that they were going to go to the room first and scope out the stuff and report back to OJ what was there of his stuff. CJ let them out first at the lobby area and they were told to go to the main area and meet a guy who would take them tot where the memorabilia was.
They met Tom Riccio in the lobby and again, there was just casual conversation. Riccio asked them where OJ was. They didn’t see OJ , so they stood around waiting for him and finally OJ entered with CJ and two other men the witness describes as “Sharply dressed”. Cashmore says he didn’t know them.
Finally Riccio said “Let’s go back” and everyone followed Riccio to the room.
Cashmore said that when they got to 1203, Riccio opened the door, and at this point Cashmore had absolutely no idea what was behind that door. As far as he knew they were just picking up some stuff that a guy had for OJ.
Cashmore says that the rush of people went in after Riccio opened the door and Cashmore and Ehrlich entered. OJ was angry and seemed to know the men in the room. He was yelling and screaming, saying “Shut the door – nobody leaves this room!”
Roger puts the diagram on the overhead and has the witness place everyone in the room. Cashmore places OJ in front of the gunmen.
Cashmore says the gun didn’t come out until OJ had started yelling and had confronted the two men with his property. McClinton had the gun out the entire time they were in the room after he initially took it out.
Cashmore also saw the gun in Alexander’s waistband. Alexander never pulled out his gun.
CJ frisked Fromong and Beardsley was over in the corner pleading his case to OJ – Beardsley and Fromong were telling OJ that Mike gave the property to them – OJ asked the men for Mike’s number, that he wanted to talk to Mike.
Cashmore says that at one point McClinton told the men that they were “lucky they were not laying where they were standing.”
Cashmore says that there were ties, footballs, pictures and plaques all laid out on the bed and that at some point McClinton told everyone to “bag this shit up.” Cashmore says that he and Ehrlich started bagging up the items. As they were bagging the stuff up OJ was still yelling at the men and CJ offered “They don’t know who we are, do they?”
Ehrlich and Cashmore were the first to leave the room, with stuff in their arms. They went to the parking lot and waited by the car. Eventually OJ, and Stewart came out and they put all the stuff in the back of the car. On the way back to the Palms OJ was in the front seat on the phone. He told the person on the phone that “There were no guns!” Cashmore says he thought “I saw a gun!”
Cashmore says he ended up with the cell phone and some lithos. OJ said he didn’t want any stuff that wasn’t his, and Cashmore says he offered to bring it back to the hotel.
As they pulled into the Palms parking lot, a vehicle pulled up beside them. Cashmore saw McClinton in the car. OJ, Stewart and McClinton had a brief conversation, and the car pulled away.
Cashmore says he went back home and he waited for the phone call from CJ to tell him where to bring the property that he had in his possession. Cj did not call with that information.
The following evening was the night of CJ’s party. McClinton and Alexander were there. Cashmore says he had some casual conversations with them, but there was no serious conversations about the incident that had occurred the night before.
At the end of the evening, Cashmore did have a conversation with CJ. CJ apologized for what he had gotten Cashmore in to. CJ was upset with OJ and said that there was no way OJ was getting that shit back, and that CJ was going to sell it and make sure that Cashmore got a piece.
Cashmore says that he first became aware of the gravity of the situation when he saw himself in the local newspaper, the Review Journal and when the incident was all over the news under the headline of “OJ Does His Own Sting”, with pictures of the participants.
CJ called Cashmore quite a bit over the net few days. CJ talked to Cashmore about attorneys, and CJ told Cashmore not to worry, that he would take care of Cashmore’s attorney. CJ wanted Cashmore to come to his attorney’s office, Mr. Lucherini. CJ set up an appointment for Cashmore, which Cashmore never went to. CJ called him again and told Cashmore to bring the property he had to CJ’s lawyers office. That Tuesday evening Cashmore, Lucherini and CJ had a three way telephone conversation. Lucherini asked Cashmore to come in and see him. Cashmore thought that the both of them having the same attorney would be a conflict of interest, and he got his own attorney. Cashmore took the property he had to his office. Then he made a statement to the police.
Eventually he pled to a charge of Felony Accessory to Robbery. His sentence, like the others, is to be determined by the judge.
Bryson then gets up to cross examine Cashmore.
Now, there are two approaches to cross examination. When you have specific points that you can cross examine a witness on, you can focus in on those points, impeach the witness, point out that he’s said different things, point out that his credibility or his memory is anything but stellar, and get out. This is the approach that Galanter took earlier with Alexander. He knew the witnesses weak areas, and he attacked those. He attacked (or tried to attack), his credibility, his memory, his prior inconsistent statements, and his motivations by pointing out that he tried to sell his testimony. He got in, made his points, and got out.
Now, when you have a witness who has no credibility issues, who has no motivation to lie or color their testimony, who has no prior inconsistent statements, and who has no other areas ripe for attack, then there is the second approach – you take the witness, line by line, through their story and see if they tell it the same exact way. Every little detail has to be exact. Right down to which finger you picked your nose with. Because if any detail is different, if any point, no matter how small, is different, then the lawyer will trot out your prior statement and show it to the witness asking “Isn’t it true, witness, that in your prior statement you said it was the third finger of your RIGHT hand that you picked your nose with, not the pinky finger of your LEFT hand as you’ve testified here today.”
This is the approach that Bryson takes with Cashmore.
Absolutely nothing new is brought out – and there are relatively few “Didn’t you say in a prior statement…” breaks Which makes for a long and boring cross examination.
The only interesting part was the very last of it – because, of course, it wasn’t just a regurgitation of the facts we had heard not 2 hours before on direct. It concerned Cashmore’s deal – and the fact that although he had 12 charges and faced life in prison with possibility of parole in 5 years, that the judge could have run the sentences consecutively rather than concurrently, so it could have actually been life plus a whole lot more.
Cashmore seems to lament more than anything that he is now a felon and can’t work in this state ever again, and that he still faces up to 5 years in prison, and, he says, “prison is prison”.
I guess he’s right about that.
To Sum Up: What happens in Vegas, stays ion Vegas, unless you’re OJ Simpson; When a pimp tells you to back off – back off; There’s more than one way to make money in Vegas, you can always buy a tape recorder and find OJ Simpson.