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Simpson to be tried on kidnap charges

Faces possibility of a life sentence

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Associated Press / November 15, 2007

LAS VEGAS - O.J. Simpson must face trial on kidnapping, armed robbery, and other charges stemming from a suspected sports memorabilia heist, a justice of the peace ruled yesterday.

Defense lawyers had argued during a preliminary hearing that the case was based on the accounts of con artists and crooks, and they asked for the charges to be dropped.

Joe M. Bonaventure ruled all charges in the 12-count complaint would remain against Simpson and codefendants Clarence "C.J." Stewart and Charles Ehrlich.

"This is what we expected," Simpson said before he left the courtroom. "If I have any disappointment it's that I wish a jury was here. As always, I rely on the jury system."

Kidnapping convictions could result in a life sentence with possibility of parole. Armed robbery convictions would require some time in prison.

The defendants were ordered to return to court for arraignment Nov. 28.

The case stemmed from a Sept. 13 confrontation in a casino hotel room where Simpson and a group of men are accused of stealing items from two sports memorabilia dealers.

Simpson's lawyer, Gabriel Grasso, argued that it was unclear whether prosecutors considered as kidnapping the act of luring the two dealers to a hotel room or whether the charge was based on a confrontation that followed.

Simpson, 60, has maintained that no guns were displayed during the confrontation, that he never asked anyone to bring guns, and that he did not know anyone had guns.

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