LAS VEGAS -- One of the alleged victims in the O.J. Simpson
armed robbery and kidnapping trial testified Thursday that he
didn't want to be on the witness stand as he provided key evidence
undermining the prosecution case.
Memorabilia peddler and convicted felon Alfred Beardsley
testified that he and Simpson were "set up" by Thomas Riccio, the
collectibles broker who arranged their meeting in a casino hotel
room, and that "chunks" of dialogue were missing from secret
recordings Riccio made of the confrontation.
"I do not want to be here," Beardsley said. "I've made that
clear for the past year."
Clark County District Attorney David Roger later told reporters
he plans to rest his case Friday after the testimony of central
witness Michael McClinton, who has said he brought guns at
Simpson's request and wielded one during the confrontation.
Simpson's lawyers said their case would begin Monday. They have
not said whether Simpson and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart
will testify, but with testimony from witnesses for Simpson
expected to wrap up quickly, the case could go to the jury by the
end of next week.
Under cross-examination Thursday by Simpson lawyer Yale
Galanter, Beardsley called Riccio's recordings a "work of art"
and suggested that Riccio had time to edit them before selling them
to a celebrity Web site and later turning them over to police.
"He took the recording of the so-called incident or the crime
and withheld it from the police -- took it back to Los Angeles for a
period of time," Beardsley said.
After leading Beardsley through a description of the
confrontation, Roger played a 911 tape in which Beardsley demands
that police arrive immediately at the Palace Station hotel and
casino to find and arrest Simpson.
"We were just robbed at gunpoint by O.J. Simpson and a bunch of
other men!" Beardsley exclaims. "And I want 'em arrested!"
After an objection from Roger, Judge Jackie Glass stopped
Galanter from asking Beardsley whether he wanted charges dropped.
She also stopped Galanter from asking whether Beardsley believed a
crime had been committed against him.
Beardsley, 46, of Burbank, Calif., is serving time on a parole
violation after being convicted of stalking a California woman. He
has been held since April on allegations that he threatened Riccio.
Glass struggled most of the day to keep jurors from being
reminded of Simpson's infamous Los Angeles murder case, ruling that
a witness could not mention the former football star's troubled
Mike Gilbert, a memorabilia dealer who was once Simpson's agent,
was called by the prosecution in hopes of establishing that Simpson
held a grudge against Gilbert over personal possessions taken from
his Los Angeles home after he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife,
Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
Prosecutors wanted to show that Simpson gave the items to
Gilbert to hide for him after a $33.5 million wrongful death civil
court judgment was entered against him.
Glass ruled after impassioned arguments from both sides that
Gilbert could talk about his past relationship with Simpson and
that Simpson gave him some property.
"We're not talking about the California case," she said.
Gilbert testified that he and Simpson were once very close
friends. The two men exchanged tepid smiles.
Lawyers for Stewart continued to argue that the evidence being
presented had nothing to do with Stewart. They called for his case
to be severed from Simpson's, but the judge again denied the
Simpson and Stewart have pleaded not guilty to 12 charges,
including kidnapping, armed robbery, coercion and assault with a
deadly weapon. They face up to life with possibility of parole if
convicted of kidnapping, the most serious charge.