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article imageOJ Simpson in Las Vegas court to ask for new trial

By Layne Weiss     May 14, 2013 in Entertainment
Las Vegas - Imprisoned former football player OJ Simpson and his attorneys are trying to convince a judge that the 65-year-old deserves a new trial.
The former football star arrived in court Monday in shackles and prison clothing Monday. His hair was grayer and he appeared heavier than he was when he was hauled off to prison to serve a minimum nine-year sentence in 2008, The Associated Press reports. He did manage to flash a smile for his family and friends sitting in the first and second rows.
The goal of the five-day hearing is to get OJ's 2008 conviction tossed on the grounds that he did not have proper legal representation, NBC News reports.
He is currently serving 9 to 33 years after being found guilty for armed robbery and kidnapping involving two memorabilia dealers, The AP reports.
A previous appeal for a new trial was rejected in 2010. But now, in his latest bid, OJ is claiming his former lawyer, Yale Galanter, gave him bad advice. He says Galanter knew of the plan for OJ to reclaim his memorabilia and told him it was perfectly legal, NBC News reports.
In 2007, OJ and five other men stormed into a room at the Palace Station Casino Hotel and took thousands of dollars in memorabilia from a pair of sports collectors which they held at gunpoint, Reuters recounts. Simpson claimed the memorabilia was his and that he had every right to get it back. He was found guilty on 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping.
If Simpson's lawyers are unsuccessful, he will serve another five years before he is eligible for parole, NBC News reports.
A friend of Simpson's took the stand for the new hearing, saying Galanter was "somewhat dismissive" of any concerns OJ voiced about the trial.
Galanter's, co-counsel Gabriel Grasso, also testified that Galanter pocketed all the money and never paid Grasso his share, The AP reports. Grasso also recalled that Galanter refused to pay experts to analyze crucial audio recordings which helped to convict Simpson.
He was only paid $15,000 for all the hard work he had done during the pre-trial and he was told by Galanter that there just wasn't enough money to hire an expert to analyze crucial recordings that were later played at trial for the jury to hear.
"I don't think it was in Mr. Simpson's best interest," Grasso testified. "In a case of this magnitude, we had no help. The state had a jury consultant. Did we? No."
Grasso says that Galanter claims he discussed a plea deal with OJ, but never told Grasso why he rejected it. Grasso has his doubts that OJ even knew of any plea deal.
OJ will take the stand for the first time Wednesday.
In 1994, he was accused of the stabbing murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. He was acquitted in 1995.
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