O.J. Simpson, the former pro-football star famously cleared of murder thirteen years ago, has been found guilty on all charges in a Las Vegas kidnap and robbery case.
Simpson was convicted along with co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart on 12 counts of robbery and kidnap involving use of a deadly weapon.
They both face minimum sentences of five years behind bars and could be given life imprisonment when they are sentenced in December.
Both men were immediately handcuffed and taken into custody when the jury’s verdicts were announced.
Simpson’s lawyer said he would appeal the conviction which came after thirteen hours of deliberation in a single day by the jury of nine women and three men.
“Obviously when you have a client who is facing this kind of a sentence in this kind of trial, we’re going to pursue all those avenues as vigorously as we can,” said Yale Galanter. Asked if race was one of those avenues he replied: “Jury selection is one of them.”
The case centred on an armed raid by Simpson and five accomplices on sports memorabilia dealers at the Palace Station hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
Witnesses say they stormed into a hotel room in September 2007 and stole valuable items at gunpoint. Simpson claimed he was trying to retrieve his own property and had no idea his accomplices were armed.
On the street the Simpson verdicts were welcomed.
Las Vegas resident Sharon Martin said: “I think it’s awesome. I think they finally got him and I think that he needs to go to jail, he needs to go to prison for the rest of his life.”
Ron Kaltenbach, also from Las Vegas, said: “I feel that justice was served and I feel that he got what he deserved.”
Many people believe Simpson got away with murder when his ex-wife and a friend were found stabbed to death, and the former footballer turned actor was charged with the killings but cleared on October 3, 1995 after a year-long trial.
A civil court jury later found Simpson liable for the deaths and ordered him to pay 23 million euros in compensation which remains largely unpaid.