- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 25, 2008

LAS VEGAS | The judge in O.J. Simpson’s armed robbery trial on Wednesday rejected prosecutors’ attempts to present the jury with evidence related to his acquittal in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend.

Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass decided not to let David Cook, a California attorney for the Ronald Goldman estate, testify about answers Simpson gave in February 2007 in response to a legal questionnaire about his assets.

Judge Glass began court Wednesday by telling prosecutors to call another witness, and prosecutor Chris Owens called former co-defendant Walter Alexander to the stand.

Alexander, 47, a Simpson golfing companion from Mesa, Ariz., testified that Simpson asked for guns to be brought to a confrontation with memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley.

Simpson has said he didn’t ask anyone to bring guns and that he didn’t know anyone in the room was armed. He and his attorneys maintain that he only wanted to retrieve personal belongings, photos and family heirlooms that had been stolen from him years earlier.

“He said, ‘Do you think you can get some heat?’” Alexander said of Simpson. “My friend, Spencer, spoke up and said, ‘No problem. I got plenty of heat. I’m licensed to carry a gun.’”

Alexander, who used the nickname “Goldie,” said Michael “Spencer” McClinton gave him a .22-caliber pistol that he tucked into his waistband while McClinton wielded a larger handgun during the incident.

Alexander said Simpson told the men to keep the guns in their waistbands, not display them or use them.

“He said, ‘Just bring them so we can be protected,’” Alexander said. “I can’t remember the exact words, but something to that effect. He said, ‘Just bring the guns so they know that we mean business.’”

Alexander and McClinton once faced the same charges as Simpson and his one remaining co-defendant, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart. McClinton and Alexander pleaded guilty to reduced charges and agreed to testify for the prosecution.

Simpson and Mr. Stewart have pleaded not guilty to 12 charges including kidnapping, armed robbery, coercion and assault with a deadly weapon. They face prison if convicted.

Alexander is the fourth of nine men in the room at the time to testify about the night of Sept. 13, 2007, at the Palace Station casino hotel.

The judge decided to exclude the attorney for Mr. Goldman’s estate after she sent the jury home early Tuesday and heard more than two hours of arguments about whether he should appear.

Mr. Cook has pursued Simpson for more than a decade to obtain payment of a $33.5 million civil wrongful-death judgment levied in March 1997 against Simpson by a California judge.

District Attorney David Roger said Mr. Cook could help show that Simpson tried to squirrel away memorabilia and avoid paying the Goldman judgment, and that anger at the Goldman family was a reason he organized the ill-fated raid on the hotel room with five other men.

“It establishes his motive,” Mr. Roger said, “his common scheme and plan with regard to this robbery.”

Simpson attorney Yale Galanter told Judge Glass that testimony about the judgment and Mr. Simpson’s acquittal in 1995 in the slayings of Mr. Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson would prejudice the jury.

cAP special correspondent Linda Deutsch contributed to this report.

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