Courthouse News Service
Courthouse News Service

Courthouse News Service
Thursday, September 18, 2008Last Update: 9:57:46 AM

200 Pages Of Tape Transcripts
Unveiled In O.J. Simpson Trial

      LAS VEGAS (CN) - Prosecutors in O.J. Simpson's burglary and kidnapping trial on Wednesday released transcripts of what they say are secret recordings taken during Simpson's alleged hold-up of two memorabilia dealers. Seven files totaling 202 pages, dubbed the "Riccio Recordings," were posted on the Clark County District Court Web site (scroll down to Documents). Prosecutors say the transcripts reflect secret recordings made by Tom Riccio, who set up the meeting at the Palace Station Hotel between Simpson and memorabilia dealers Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong.
     The taped recordings were the subject of much debate during trial Tuesday and Wednesday. Clark County Judge Jackie Glass allowed the recordings as evidence, despite defense attorneys' repeated objections and an FBI gadget expert's pre-recorded statement that he could not say for certain whether they had been altered.
     In one transcript, recorded by Riccio at The Palms Casino before the alleged incident, Simpson is quoted as saying, "I'm gonna show up with a bunch of the boys and take the shit back. They can't do nothing about it."
     In another, Riccio, Beardsley and Fromong seem to be anticipating OJ's arrival in their hotel room at the Palace Station Casino, thinking he's coming to purchase memorabilia that Beardsley and Fromong had laid out.
     But then:
     Beardsley: "Oh no."
Simpson: "Don't let nobody out of here. Mother fuckers. Think you can steal my shit and sell it."
     Simpson's co-defendant, Clarence "C.J." Stewart, is quoted as telling the men to stand up, and ordering others to "Bag this shit up. Bag it."
     Before the men leave, Fromong asks that they leave behind his box of Joe Montana lithographs. Simpson promises he'll leave them at the front desk.
     Beardsley then makes a phone call: "Yeah, we were just robbed at gunpoint by OJ Simpson," he's quoted as saying. He mentions a 9mm. gun, according to the transcripts.
     After accusing Riccio of setting him up, Beardsley jokes: "I guess we'll all have a good story to tell our fucking grandkids. We were robbed by fuckin' OJ."
     The transcripts also claim to depict Riccio and Simpson talking the next day.
     Riccio: "Listen, I gotta tell ya something, man."
     Simpson: "OK, go ahead then."
     Riccio: "I'm thinking maybe you didn't see it. Probably didn't see it. But there was a guy there with a gun."
     Simpson: "I heard that they said somebody something about a gun. I was shocked at this."
     At trial, Simpson's attorneys have maintained that Simpson did not know anyone had a gun during the incident.
     In the last transcript, Simpson tells Riccio: "I will for free sign anything to you from this point on. Because you could have made money with these fucking assholes, and you didn't."
     Defense attorneys said Riccio sold the secret tapes to the gossip Web site TMZ.com. Las Vegas police were not able to get hold of them until eight days later.
     The Associated Press reported that Riccio has written a book about Simpson, and has promised to "mention commercial products, restaurants and services" while on the witness stand.
     Simpson and co-defendant Stewart face 12 counts, including robbery, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and coercion. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.