- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 2, 2011

LAS VEGAS | A trio of Nevada Supreme Court justices issued a terse two-word order Wednesday rejecting O.J. Simpson’s request to revive the appeal of his conviction in a Las Vegas casino-hotel room heist.

“Rehearing denied,” the three justices said.

Simpson lawyer Malcolm LaVergne told The Associated Press the ruling was expected and said he expects the 63-year-old former football star will want to appeal to the entire seven-member state high court.

“It’s tough to convince the same three justices who denied it the first time to reconsider,” LaVergne said. “This isn’t the last step. We’ll talk with Mr. Simpson. Now what we have the opportunity to do is petition the entire court to hear the appeal.”

Simpson is serving nine to 33 years in a Nevada prison on kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges.

Justices Michael Cherry, Nancy Saitta and Mark Gibbons in October upheld Simpson’s 2008 conviction stemming from the robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in 2007.

The same three justices overturned the conviction of Simpson co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, ruling that his trial was tainted by Simpson’s presence and the notoriety stemming from his 1995 acquittal in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.

Simpson’s attorneys, LaVergne and Yale Galanter, followed with a request to reconsider, saying they thought the justices overlooked or misunderstood several key arguments.

The lawyers claim Simpson lacked the necessary intent to commit a crime because he was retrieving personal items when he, Stewart and four other men confronted two sports memorabilia dealers and a middle man in a Las Vegas casino hotel room in September 2007.

They also argue the last two black prospective jurors were dismissed without proper cause, and that jurors weren’t completely screened for bias.

Stewart, 57, a former Simpson golfing buddy, served more than two years in prison before his conviction was overturned. He pleaded an equivalent of no contest Jan. 4 to felony robbery and conspiracy and was sentenced to three years of probation, including nine months of home detention. The plea deal avoided a retrial of his case.


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