LAS VEGAS (CN) – The alleged victim in O.J. Simpson’s kidnapping and armed robbery trial testified on Thursday that he didn’t want to press charges. Alfred Beardsley, who called police after Simpson allegedly stole his sports memorabilia at gunpoint, said that prosecutors armed with subpoenas forced him to testify. “I do not want to be here today. I’ve made that clear for the past year,” Beardsley said. “I’ve known Mr. Simpson for a number of years … and I believe that he was targeted by this con man (Thomas Riccio) in order for this man to make quite a bit of money.”
Transcripts of Riccio’s recordings, allegedly made before, during and after the alleged heist, have played a significant part in the trial.
Later Thursday, Bruce Fromong, the man whose items allegedly were stolen, was spotted smiling, chatting and shaking hands with Simpson during a break outside the courtroom, The Associated Press reported. Fromong was the first to testify against Simpson.
Simpson and Clarence “C.J.” Stewart face a dozen charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery and assault, for the alleged Sept. 13, 2007 incident at the Palace Station Hotel.
To say there’s bad blood between Beardsley and Riccio is an understatement.
Beardsley called Riccio a “rat” during testimony, and revealed that he filed a civil lawsuit against Riccio in Orange County Superior Court in February in California.
He claims Riccio put him in harm’s way by setting up last year’s meeting, and defamed him in his book about the alleged heist. Riccio has filed a countersuit.
Beardsley also called Riccio’s secret recordings made of the incident a “work of art,” adding that there are significant “chunks” of the event missing from the recording.
“(Riccio) took a recording of a so-called crime and withheld it from the police, then took it back to Los Angeles for a period of time,” before turning it over to police, Beardsley said. “He could easily have changed or altered or enhanced that tape to his liking.”
Beardsley is being held at the Clark County Detention Center as he serves the last week of a prison term for violating parole after an unrelated stalking conviction in California.
He wasn’t supposed to cross state lines until his parole ended in March 2009, but was picked up in Las Vegas six days after last year’s alleged heist.
According to media reports, Beardsley answered his hotel room door naked when U.S. Marshals came to arrest him.
Also Thursday, Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass allowed Simpson’s former agent, Mike Gilbert, to testify, but only after a lengthy debate and objections from Simpson’s attorney Yale Galanter. The discussion occurred outside the presence of the jury.
Prosecutors David Roger and Chris Owens argued that Gilbert’s testimony would help establish that Simpson thought Gilbert was going to be at the hotel that day, and that Simpson was upset with Gilbert over items taken from Simpson’s home after his 1995 acquittal on murder charges.
Prosecutors wanted to establish that Gilbert was recruited by Simpson to clear out his Rockingham estate to hide assets from the Goldman family, which won a $33.5 million, wrongful-death civil lawsuit against Simpson. Prosecutors said Gilbert kept some of the items.
“It’s Mr. Simpson’s attempt to get back at Mike,” one of the prosecutors said.
Galanter argued that the only reason to call Gilbert to the stand was to prejudice the jury and remind them of Simpson’s acquittal of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
After allowing Gilbert to testify, Glass told prosecutors, “I’m trying to keep this focused on the issues. I’m not trying to hamper your case.”
During Gilbert’s brief testimony, he said that he and Simpson used to be very close, and that his children called Simpson, “Uncle O.J.”
Gilbert recently wrote a book in which he claims that Simpson confessed to him the 1994 murders.