OJ's ex-lawyer contradicts his testimony on guns

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 18, 2013 at 2:27 am •  Published: May 18, 2013
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — O.J. Simpson's former lawyer defended himself point-by-point Friday against allegations he botched the former football star's armed-robbery trial, after giving damaging testimony that Simpson actually knew his buddies had guns when they went to a hotel room together to reclaim some sports memorabilia.

Miami-based attorney Yale Galanter quickly found himself under withering cross-examination from a Simpson lawyer intent on proving that Galanter's word couldn't be trusted — that he knew ahead of time of Simpson's plan and spent more effort covering up his involvement than representing Simpson.

The weeklong hearing concluded late Friday with Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell telling attorneys she will issue her decision in writing. She didn't specify a date.

Simpson was returned to prison custody. His attorneys, Patricia Palm and Ozzie Fumo, said they were optimistic that the judge would grant a new trial.

"I just think the evidence of his claims is overwhelming," Palm said.

Galanter took the stand as the state's star witness in a hearing on Simpson's claim that he was so badly represented at trial and on appeal that his conviction should be thrown out.

He spent most of the day on the defensive, with Simpson lawyer Tom Pitaro grilling him with accusations and pointed questions.

"Mr. Simpson never told me he was going to go to the Palace (Station) hotel with a bunch of thugs, kidnap people and take property by force," Galanter said at one point. "To insinuate I, as his lawyer, would have blessed it is insane."

Galanter conceded at one point that Simpson's conviction was his responsibility.

At another point, he conceded that he "misspoke" when he told the trial judge, Jackie Glass, that crucial audio recordings had been carefully analyzed by experts.

"Clearly I misspoke," Galanter said as Pitaro bored in. "I would never, ever ... I would just never intentionally mislead a judicial officer or a lawyer. I'm falling on that sword."

Galanter denied giving Simpson the go-ahead to retrieve the photos and footballs he believed had been stolen from him. He denied keeping Simpson in the dark about offers of plea deals that carried only a few years in prison. He said his client agreed all along with the decision not to put him on the stand to testify at his trial.

And he disputed Simpson's testimony from earlier this week when the former NFL star said he didn't know anyone in the hotel room had guns.

"When you look at the entire trial, I don't think I could have fought harder, done more," Galanter said. "I put every ounce of blood, sweat and soul into it."

At another point, he said: "Simpson brought a lot of baggage into the courtroom. It's not like the 12 jurors didn't know he was accused of murder and acquitted."

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