What Really Happened During O.J.'s 'Sting'?

Just a day after O.J. Simpson's arrest, the saga of his latest brush with the law is turning into a uniquely American version of "Rashomon," the classic Japanese movie about a crime that eludes the truth due to conflicting witness accounts.

Instead of a Buddhist priest, a woodcutter and the wife of a murdered samurai describing a crime that takes place in a forest grove in Japan, in the Simpson case there is a football legend acquitted of murder, some real estate brokers and two memorabilia dealers squaring off in a shabby hotel room off the Strip in Sin City.

Simpson's accomplices and accusers have told conflicting accounts of what happened in a room at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Thursday. And almost all of them pleaded innocence while blaming Simpson, who was arrested Sunday on multiple felony charges in connection with the armed holdup of the dealers.

In the latest twist, Clarence "CJ" Stewart, a golfing buddy of Simpson, turned himself in to Las Vegas Metro Police this afternoon. He was charged with several felony counts, including two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. His lawyer, Robert Lucherini, told ABC News that he expects his client will be granted bail and released.

Earlier on Monday, Stewart told ABCNEWS.com that "I'm not doing really well" and that his lawyer had been talking to the police to set up a meeting. According to Lucherini, police searched Stewart's Vegas home this weekend, but did not recover any weapons or memorabilia. Lucherini said that Stewart was not armed during the incident at the Palace Station, that he did not see any weapons in the room and that he had no idea that Simpson was planning a confrontation.

"I don't think my client had a clue what was going down," said Lucherini. "I don't think everybody in that room had any idea what was going to happen. It was just going to be a meeting and O.J. wasn't completely clear about it."

Lucherini says that on Saturday and Sunday, Simpson explained his actions to Stewart, who understood the gridiron great's intentions. They both attended the Saturday nuptials of Thomas Scotto; Simpson's eldest daughter, Arnell, was the wedding planner.

Meanwhile Scotto, a Miami auto dealer with a concealed weapon permit, met with police Sunday night. "At the conclusion of those interviews, he was excluded as a suspect in that case," said police spokesman Jose Montoya.

Scotto is currently on his honeymoon "in a tropical climate," according to Barron, one of Scotto's employees, who declined to give his full name.

Michael McClinton, an alleged Simpson accomplice, had his Vegas home searched by police Saturday night. It was unclear whether it was McClinton's home where police found two guns and whether he has been questioned about the incident.

Walter Alexander, Simpson's third alleged accomplice who police say brandished a gun during the robbery, was waiting for a flight at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Saturday night, when police brought him in for questioning. Before Alexander gave police a statement and was released, his lawyer negotiated a "non-use proffer" that prevents authorities from using any of that statement against him. He faces robbery, assault, conspiracy and burglary charges.

During an impromptu news conference in Los Angeles, Monday, Alexander defended his actions and distanced himself from Simpson.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...