- Created on 25 July 2013
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — O.J. Simpson goes before a Nevada parole panel Thursday to plead for leniency in his 2008 kidnapping and robbery case, but even a favorable decision won’t spring the former football star from prison.
Simpson was sentenced to consecutive terms on several charges. But some of his sentences were ordered to run concurrently — two counts each of kidnapping and robbery and one count of burglary. The parole panel will consider those concurrent sentences on Thursday, David Smith, a hearing examiner with the Board of Parole Commissioners, said late Wednesday.
In the event the Nevada Parole Board rules in his favor, he would then begin sentences attached to other charges.
“It doesn’t open the cell door,” H. Leon Simon, the prosecutor handling Simpson’s appeal, said Wednesday. “He’d just start serving the consecutive sentences.”
Simpson’s best chance for freedom lies with a pending decision by a Las Vegas judge on whether to grant him a new trial based on claims that his trial lawyer botched his defense and had a conflict of interest in the case. Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell held a weeklong hearing in May on the issue that featured testimony from the 66-year-old former NFL star, who was acquitted of murder in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife and her friend.
A two-member panel in Carson City will hear Simpson’s parole petition Thursday morning. Simpson is scheduled to participate by video conferencing from the Lovelock Correctional Center. Only Simpson, his representatives or victims are allowed to comment. Documents filed as part of the parole hearing are confidential.
The panel is expected to make a recommendation the same day. It will then be forwarded to the seven-member parole board for consideration. Simpson would need four votes for parole approval.
Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass sentenced Simpson in December 2008 to nine to 33 years in prison on charges including first-degree kidnapping and robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.
During a hearing in May, Simpson’s current lawyers, Pamela Palm and Ozzie Fumo, presented evidence and questioned witnesses including trial lawyer Yale Galanter about whether he knew in advance about the September 2007 plan for Simpson and several other men to confront to memorabilia deals in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Simpson argues that he was trying to retrieve items stolen from him after his 1995 “trial of the century” acquittal in Los Angeles.
Bell hasn’t indicated when she plans to issue her decision, but told a KSNV-TV interviewer for a segment aired this week in Las Vegas that she still had “some writing to do.”
- Created on 24 July 2013
The Chicago Police Department has issued an alert to stores in the central district of the city warning of a rash of robberies committed by groups of teen females.
Police believe the females are responsible for three retail robberies over the past month.
The suspects attempt to shoplift items from the store, and when confronted by employees, use force or the threat of force to get away.
The robberies have occurred at the following approximate locations and times:
- June 24: The Pay Half store on the 0-100 Block of N. Wabash Ave. at approximately 4:10 p.m.
- July 16: 0-100 Block of E. Madison St. at approximately 11:30 a.m.
- July 19: 100 Block of S. State St. at approximately 12:20 p.m.
Police say the offenders are working in groups.
Cassandra Perez, who's worked at the Pay Half store for five years, says her manager fell into a display table trying to wrestle a bag of stolen clothes from the group of shoplifters.
"It's scary, but you have to work," Perez says.
Perez says this type of crime has always been a problem with criminals working in groups and pretending they don't know each other.
Anyone with information is asked to call (312) 747-8380.
- Created on 23 July 2013
So far this year, 232 people have been killed in Chicago, about 9 percent below the 10-year average for this time of year, the Daily News reports. And the month of July has been particularly bloody: Over the July 4th weekend, 12 were murdered with more than 60 people injured, and just this past weekend, another 6 people were killed and 17 were injured in shootings that reportedly began on Friday and continued through Sunday.
The rat-a-tat-tat of gunfire has decimated Chicago’s urban areas in recent years, sparking headlines across the globe as body bags pile up and police and elected officials grapple with ways to quell mounting gang violence. Now three Illinois lawmakers, along with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, plan to hold a summit on urban violence on July 25th and 26th at Chicago State University, with the hopes of mapping out a concrete plan to address the critical issue....
- Created on 23 July 2013
(CNN) -- Four days after he was acquitted of murder, George Zimmerman stepped out of seclusion to help a family get out of an overturned vehicle in Florida, authorities said Monday.
Zimmerman and another man helped four people get out of an SUV that had overturned Wednesday evening in Sanford, the same community where the former neighborhood watch volunteer fatally shot teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012, Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Heather Smith said.
Callers to 911 described a dramatic scene: An SUV lost control in the area of Interstate 4 and State Road 46, flipping on its side and sliding into a median.
Several callers said they saw people helping a family trapped inside the overturned SUV, according to audio recordings released by the sheriff's office.
"There was tons of smoke ... people were starting to rush towards the vehicle," one caller said.
"They got everyone out of the car," another caller reported. About a minute later, the caller said, it looked like the vehicle was catching fire.
By the time a deputy arrived, Zimmerman and another man already had helped the two adults and two children out of the vehicle, Smith said.
Zimmerman did not witness the crash, and he left after making contact with the deputy, Smith said. No injuries were reported in the crash.
Zimmerman has been out of the public eye since a jury found him not guilty of second degree murder on July 13. His parents told ABC News last week that their family has received an "enormous amount of death threats."
He fatally shot Martin in the Sanford neighborhood where Zimmerman and Martin's father lived in February 2012. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, had a confrontation with the unarmed African-American teen after calling police to report a suspicious person, and he said he shot Martin in self-defense.
The case became a flash point in debates over racial profiling, and thousands attended vigils across the country over the weekend, decrying the verdict.
Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for George Zimmerman's legal defense team, said when Zimmerman spoke with his attorneys on Friday, the car wreck didn't come up.
The defense team, Vincent said, first heard of Zimmerman's involvement when media reports surfaced Monday.