OJ Simpson Denied New Trial in Robbery, Kidnapping Case

Simpson must serve at least four more years before he's eligible for parole.

ByABC News
November 27, 2013, 2:45 AM

Nov. 27, 2013— -- O.J. Simpson will remain behind bars after a judge rejected his bid for a new trial and upheld his armed robbery and kidnapping conviction.

The former football great's conviction stems from Simpson's attempt in 2007 to recover sports memorabilia from two sports collectibles dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson contended the memorabilia and other personal items belonged to him.

Simpson, 66, had requested a new trial arguing his former attorney botched his case, making at least 22 mistakes at the trial.

"All grounds in the petition lack merit and, consequently, are denied," Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell said in her ruling Tuesday.

Simpson's new lawyer Patricia Palm said her client was disappointed with the ruling, but would appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

"We're confident that when we get to the right court we'll get relief because he deserves relief, because he didn't get a fair trial," Palm told The Associated Press.

Simpson was sentenced to nine to 33 years in Nevada state prison but was granted parole on some convictions in July, meaning he must serve at least four more years before he is eligible for parole.

"I followed what I thought the law. I didn't break into anybody's room," Simpson said at a habeas corpus hearing in May. "The guys acknowledged it was my stuff."

The former Buffalo Bill and Heisman Trophy winner's image as a media darling was shattered when he was arrested in 1994 in the brutal slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. The trial, dubbed by many "The Trial of the Century," was a spectacle, dominating American television and sparking controversy and racial tensions. Simpson was acquitted on all charges in 1995.

A civil jury later found him liable for their deaths and ordered Simpson to pay $33 million to their families.

Simpson's legal defense in his Las Vegas trial was headed by Yale Galanter, who testified during Simpson's habeas corpus hearing in May. Galanter told the AP he felt vindicated by the judge's decision.

"As O.J.'s lawyer and confidante, it was gut-wrenching for me to have to be in a position to defend my strategy and efforts on his behalf as his lawyer and testify against my client," Galanter told the AP in a telephone interview. "If I did what their legal team says I did, the first thing O.J. should have said to me was, 'Hey I'm in jail and it's because of you. Go screw yourself.'"

Bell's 101-page ruling rejected arguments that Simpson received inadequate legal representation.

"Mr. Simpson's convictions stem from serious offenses," she wrote. The judge noted the involvement of six co-conspirators and weeks of advance planning.