LAS VEGAS (CN) – O.J. Simpson told two friends to bring guns to last year’s hotel room heist, a former co-defendant in Simpson’s kidnapping and armed robbery trial testified Wednesday. “He said, ‘I just need you all to bring the guns. But you don’t have to take them out, just put them in your waist band. Kind of open up your jackets so they see that you got them and they know that we mean business,'” Walter Alexander testified.
Also Wednesday, Judge Jackie Glass refused to let Fred Goldman’s attorney testify about his 10 years of efforts to get Simpson to pay the $33 million wrongful death civil award for the death of Goldman’s son.
In testimony Wednesday, Alexander said he expressed hesitation about carrying a gun, and Simpson responded, “Fuck the police. It’s my shit. I’m just going to get my shit. What they gonna do? Take me to jail for going to get my own shit?”
Alexander said Simpson then told the other friend, Michael McClinton, “to take the gun out and put it in his hand” before they entered Tom Riccio’s hotel room to get the sports memorabilia from dealers Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong.
“I thought, ‘Man this is gonna be a robbery,” Alexander said. “I really wanted to go in the opposite direction, but at the same time I didn’t want to seem like a coward, and O.J. was my friend.”
Alexander said he carried a .22-caliber pistol, but he never took it out.
Alexander testified that Simpson encouraged them to lie about the guns after the incident. “He kept repeating, ‘Hey just remember – there was no guns. No guns,'” Alexander said.
Simpson has maintained that he saw no guns, and that he was merely retrieving his personal property that was stolen from him years ago.
Alexander was the first witness to admit being armed during the alleged events at the Palace Station on Sept. 13, 2007. He was also the first to cut a deal with prosecutors for a lesser charge in exchange for his testimony.
He said that District Attorney David Roger told him, “The first horse to the trough drinks the pristine waters.”
During his testimony, Alexander said Simpson was drinking, “laughing and boisterous, like nothing had happened,” at a wedding dinner the next day. He even quipped, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – unless you’re O.J. Simpson,” Alexander said.
When Alexander expressed fear about being arrested, he said, Simpson “just laughed,” and told him “‘Nigga, if you get out of town you don’t have to worry about going to jail.'”
Alexander carried a Bible into the courtroom Wednesday, and opened it to read during a sidebar. After objections from Simpson attorney Yale Galanter, Judge Glass ordered Alexander to hand it over.
During a heated cross-examination, Galanter peppered Alexander with questions in an attempt to make him look like a money-hungry turncoat with a checkered past.
Galanter also wanted to explore allegations that Alexander was a pimp – not a real estate agent, as he testified – but Glass wouldn’t allow it.
In the middle of Galanter’s cross-examination, Alexander seemed to suggest that he’d almost rather be a co-defendant with Simpson than take a pounding from Galanter. “Then I would not have to say anything and I would not have to be badgered by this man,” he said.
The two then entered a shouting match, after Alexander told Galanter to back up when he approached the witness stand and tried to show him a copy of the transcript from the preliminary hearing.
Glass retained order, then admonished Galanter: “Don’t ever do that again. If he asks you to back up, back up.”
The long day of testimony began with Glass barring prosecutors’ attempts to allow Fred Goldman’s attorney, David Cook, to testify about his efforts to retrieve the $33.5 million, wrongful-death civil award that Goldman won against Simpson in 1997.
Simpson was acquitted in 1995 in the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. The Goldman family later won the wrongful-death civil suit.
Simpson and his co-defendant, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, face 12 charges, including armed robbery, kidnapping, assault and coercion. If convicted, they face up to life in prison.