Simpson convicted of robbery charge
In a city where luck means everything, O.J. Simpson came out the big loser — and his unlucky number in a case full of bizarre twists was 13.
He was convicted of an armed robbery that happened on Sept. 13 and was found guilty on the 13th anniversary of his Los Angeles murder acquittal. The Las Vegas jury deliberated for 13 hours after a 13-day trial.
And then, as only the sobs of Simpson’s sister broke the silence late Friday, the lights went out.
Court marshals flipped on flashlights and shouted for everyone to stay seated. Only the judge knew what had happened. It was 11 p.m. and the courthouse lights had shut down automatically.
‘‘Timed out,’’ Judge Jackie Glass said in a fitting epitaph for the story of O.J. Simpson, which has long haunted America.
The 61-year-old Hall of Fame football star was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges for gathering five men a year ago and storming a room at a hotel-casino to seize Simpson sports mementos — including game balls, plaques and photos — from two collectors. Prosecutors said two of the men with him were armed; one said Simpson had asked him to bring a gun.
After the verdict, Simpson, the sports-idol-turned-celebrity-pariah, was handcuffed and led from the room with his co-defendant, Clarence ‘‘C.J.’’ Stewart. They could spend the rest of their lives in prison.
‘‘There is justice,’’ said attorney Gloria Allred, who has represented the family of his slain ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. ‘‘Justice was delayed, but in this case it was not denied. Now that he may spend the rest of his life in prison, the law, and not O.J. Simpson, will have the last word.’’
Some observers said the Las Vegas case paled in comparison to the ‘‘trial of the century’’ in 1995, a yearlong opus in which Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend Ronald Goldman.