Prosecutors file charges against O.J. Simpson, including kidnapping, in armed robbery at hotel
Associated Press Writer
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
LAS VEGAS ” O.J. Simpson was charged Tuesday with seven felonies, including kidnapping, in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in a casino-hotel room.
The fallen football star was arrested Sunday after a collector reported a group of armed men charged into his hotel room at a casino and took several items Simpson claimed belonged to him.
Simpson was booked on suspicion of assault and robbery with a deadly weapon. Clark County District Attorney David Roger filed those charges and added kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, according to court documents.
Simpson, who was accused along with three other men, was also charged with one misdemeanor. He faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted.
He was being held without bail and was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in the robbery reported at the Palace Station casino.
According to the charges, Simpson and the others went to the room under the pretext of brokering a deal with the men. Once in the room, Simpson prevented one of the collectors from calling 911 on his cell phone “by ripping it out of Bruce Fromong’s hand” while one or more accomplices pointed or displayed a handgun, the document says.
The complaint does not specify which of the men involved was carrying the weapon.
Two others named in the complaint, Walter Alexander and Clarence Stewart, have been arrested and released. Authorities were seeking an arrest warrant for a fourth man, Michael McClinton, 49, of Las Vegas, a man police describe as “a key player” in the alleged theft.
“We hope to have him in custody today,” said Officer Ramon Denby, a police spokesman. “Hopefully, he’ll be cooperative and surrender with his attorney.”
Earlier Tuesday in California, a judge gave Fred Goldman a week to come up with a list of sports memorabilia O.J. Simpson is accused of stealing from the Vegas hotel room, but he refused to order Simpson to hand over his earnings from everything from autograph signings to video games.
Simpson was acquitted more than a decade ago of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman’s son, Ron. He was later found liable for the slayings in a wrongful death trial.
The civil jury returned a $33.5 million judgment against Simpson, but it remains largely unpaid. The Goldman family has waged a campaign to claim Simpson’s assets since then.
Alexander, one of the men arrested with Simpson, said Tuesday that Simpson may have been tricked because another memorabilia dealer who tipped him off also recorded everything on tape.
“It sounds like a setup to me,” Alexander told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He said Simpson had thought the memorabilia belonged to him after getting a call from the dealer.
One of the collectors in the room at the time, Bruce Fromong, spoke publicly about the incident on Monday and described Simpson and a group of men coming into the hotel room “commando style.”
Later Monday, Fromong had a heart attack and was in critical condition, a spokeswoman at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles said Tuesday.
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