October 10, 2001 01:00 PM

Prosecutors in Miami on Tuesday said that they intend to seek a prison sentence should former gridiron great and actor O.J. Simpson be convicted in his current road rage trial. Their announcement reverses an earlier statement they had made just before the start of jury selection, when it was said that Simpson, 54, was unlikely to face jail time over the alleged incident, reports the New York Post. When charges were filed in December, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle had pointed toward anger-control counseling as an expected punishment should Simpson be convicted. The felony auto-burglary and misdemeanor battery charges that he faces carry a maximum 16-year prison term. “We do, in fact, intend to seek a sentence within that sentencing range,” Assistant State Attorney Paul Mendelson said Tuesday. The trial stems from an angry encounter with another motorist in a Miami suburb. Simpson stands accused of scratching the face of another driver, Jeffrey Pattinson, while allegedly reaching through a car window and pulling off Pattinson’s glasses. “Another day in paradise,” Simpson quipped as he entered the courtroom for jury selection Tuesday. A Los Angeles jury found Simpson not guilty in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. A civil jury later found him liable, and he was ordered to pay $33.5 million.

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