O.J. Simpson has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, with consecutive terms that could extend his time behind bars 2½ years or more.
A Las Vegas jury had found the former gridiron star, 61, guilty of armed robbery and kidnapping on Oct. 3 – 13 years to the day after his acquittal in the so-called trial of the century for the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in Los Angeles.
The conviction that led to Friday’s sentencing resulted from a six-minute incident in 2007 that took place in a down-market Las Vegas hotel room, where Simpson struggled with two sports memorabilia dealers over items that Simpson claimed were his possessions.
Simpson remained calm while his tough sentence was delivered by Nevada judge Jackie Glass. The judge stressed that she was not sentencing him for any previous actions besides those for which he was currently on trial – an obvious reference to the deaths of Brown and Goldman.
The judge added that she respected the decision of the jury in the current case. “The problem is that I can’t ignore that the behavior at the time … was reckless … A gun was used … property was stolen … and now I will sentence you,” Judge Glass said.
Simpson – who made a disjointed statement to the court apologizing for his actions, but denying he knew they were illegal – was denied bail and was led from the courtroom in dark blue prison attire.
Speaking outside the courthouse, Fred Goldman, the father of Ron Goldman said, “There’s never closure, Ron is always gone, but what we have is satisfaction that this monster is behind bars where he belongs.”
Neither Simpson nor his co-defendant and former golfing buddy, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, testified at the Las Vegas trial. Simpson’s lawyer, Yale Galanter, argued that investigators targeted Simpson and filed overblown charges and that there was no criminal intent.
• Reporting by MARK GRAY and KEN LEE