5 Oct 2008

OJ Simpson could be jailed for life after guilty verdict

6:34 am on 5 October 2008

OJ Simpson, who was famously cleared of murder in the 1990s "Trial of the Century," has been convicted on all charges in his Las Vegas kidnapping and robbery trial.

Simpson was convicted along with co-defendant Clarence "CJ" Stewart on the 13th anniversary of his controversial 1995 acquittal, in the Clark County District Court on Saturday.

Family members wept in the courtroom gallery as Simpson was led away.

Simpson and Stewart face sentences of up to life in prison when they are sentenced on December 5.

Prosecutors said at trial that Simpson, 61, and five associates stormed into a room at the Palace Station hotel and casino in September 2007, brandishing guns, and took thousands of dollars in memorabilia from a pair of sports collectors.

Defence lawyers argued that Simpson went to the hotel only to retrieve personal mementos that were stolen from him and that he was unaware that his sidekicks were armed.

Four of the other men originally charged in the case have agreed to plead guilty and all took the witness stand for the prosecution during nearly three weeks of trial testimony.

Neither Simpson, nor Stewart, 54, testified in their own defence.

Simpson was charged in the June 12, 1994, stabbing deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman, but was cleared at the end of a year long trial that transfixed much of the world.

A civil court jury later found Simpson responsible in a wrongful death suit and ordered him to pay $US33.5 million in damages to the victims' families, a judgment that remains largely unpaid.