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Sixth man in Simpson case turns himself in

/ Source: The Associated Press

A sixth man sought in the armed robbery case against O.J. Simpson surrendered in court Friday.

Charles Bruce Ehrlich of Miami was taken into custody in Las Vegas after a brief hearing before a judge who set his bail at $32,000. Ehrlich’s lawyer, John Moran, characterized Ehrlich as an acquaintance of Simpson’s.

“He’s not a principal in this thing,” Moran said.

Ehrlich, 53, faces the same charges as another defendant — Charles Cashmore — who was arraigned minutes earlier on charges including kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

Simpson and the other men are accused of bursting into a hotel room last week displaying guns, and stealing autographed footballs and other items from two sports memorabilia collectors.

Authorities allege that the suspects went to the hotel room on the pretext of brokering a deal with Alfred Beardsley, 46, an accuser along with Bruce Fromong.

According to police reports, the collectors were ordered at gunpoint to hand over items valued at as much as $100,000, including football game balls signed by Simpson, Joe Montana lithographs, baseballs autographed by Pete Rose and Duke Snider and framed awards and plaques.

Beardsley, an ex-convict from Burbank, was arrested Wednesday at a Las Vegas Strip hotel on a warrant alleging he violated parole travel restrictions by traveling to Nevada. He remained held without bail.

Fromong, 53, is recovering from a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital.

Searches have turned up two semiautomatic handguns used in the holdup, police said. Warrants remained sealed, a court spokesman said.

Simpson flew home late Wednesday to the Miami area and refused to answer reporters’ questions about the case. Simpson, who was famously acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife and her friend but found liable for the deaths in a civil trial, left the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport in an SUV.