Judge refuses retrial for OJ Simpson

Published: 28 November, 2013 01:36 IST | AFP |

A US judge rejected Tuesday a request by jailed former sports star O.J. Simpson for a retrial over his conviction for a 2007 casino robbery in Las Vegas.

A lawyer for the disgraced ex-American footballer and actor, who testified in support of his request in May, said the 66-year-old will appeal the ruling.

Simpson, who admitted he had been drinking heavily ahead of the September 13, 2007 incident, sought a retrial on grounds that his longtime lawyer Yale Galanter had botched his defense.

On Tuesday, Clark County Judge Linda Marie Bell, who heard his testimony over five days in May, refused his petition for a retrial.

"Mr. Simpson failed to establish that appellate and trial counsel were ineffective or that any deficient performance by counsel resulted in prejudice," said the 101-page ruling, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

"Given the overwhelming amount of evidence, neither the errors in this case, nor the errors collectively, cause this court to question the validity of Mr. Simpson's conviction."

Simpson is serving nine to 33 years in a Nevada state penitentiary, after being convicted in October 2008 of armed robbery, assault and kidnapping over the robbery, which was infamously caught on security camera footage.

One of his attorneys, Osvaldo Fumo, said he would appeal. "We're obviously very disappointed in the judge's decision," he told The Los Angeles Times newspaper. "We plan to appeal the case."

In July Simpson -- infamously acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in 1995 -- was granted parole for offenses related to the 2008 conviction but still faces years behind bars.

Specifically he won parole for counts of kidnapping, robbery and burglary with a firearm, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners said.

At the time parole hearing examiner David Smith said in an email to AFP that Simpson had been paroled due to his "positive institutional conduct, participation in programs, lack of prior conviction history."

However Simpson still had to serve at least 12 months on four concurrent sentences for using a weapon during the robbery and kidnapping. He then will face further back-to-back sentences of at least 18 months each for sentences of assault with a deadly weapon, making a total of at least four years.

One of the most famous American football players of his generation during a glittering 1970s career, Simpson was the prime suspect in the 1994 brutal murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.

Simpson, who has always vehemently denied the killings, was acquitted after a racially charged 1995 trial in Los Angeles, in a verdict that was greeted with widespread outrage across America.

He was subsequently found liable for the deaths in a 1997 civil suit and was ordered to pay damages to the victims' families totaling USD 33.5 million.

He has repeatedly said he will not pay the damages.

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