IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

O.J. Simpson returns to Vegas jail

O.J. Simpson returned to jail on Friday, where he will spend several days before a judge hears allegations that he violated terms of his bail in an armed robbery case here, officials said.
OJ Simpson
O.J. Simpson, right, is transferred to the Clark County jail after arriving at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, on Friday.AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

O.J. Simpson returned to jail Friday, where he will spend several days before a judge hears allegations that he violated terms of his bail in an armed robbery case, officials said.

Simpson, 60, arrived in Las Vegas on a commercial flight from Florida with his bail bondsman, Miguel Pereira. He was taken in handcuffs by a police escort to the Clark County Detention Center, where both he and Pereira ignored questions from reporters.

But in an interview later, Pereira told The Associated Press he was unhappy because he had not been paid for handling Simpson's bail, and that he gave prosecutors a message Simpson wanted him to take to a co-defendant because he didn't want to face criminal charges.

"He left a message instructing me to do something violating a court order," Pereira said after escorting the former football star from his home in Miami. "I don't want to get involved in such a dilemma or a criminal act."

Simpson's attorney denied the allegations.

"O.J. did not try to persuade anybody to contact a witness," Yale Galanter told The Associated Press.

Alleged message
A prosecutor claims in documents filed Friday in Clark County District Court that the tape-recorded message they say Simpson left for Pereira in November was an effort to contact co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart, which violated a court order.

"I just want, want C.J. to know that ... I'm tired of this (expletive)," Simpson is quoted as saying in the documents. "Fed up with (expletives) changing what they told me. All right?"

Pereira confirmed that Simpson left the expletive-laced 66-word message in which he expressed frustration at testimony during a three-day preliminary hearing in November.

"He was upset. He wanted me to tell C.J.," said Pereira, who also handled Stewart's bond.

Stewart remained free Friday, and his lawyer, Jose Pallares, said he had no knowledge that Simpson's message ever got to Stewart.

Pereira said he turned over the message to prosecutors after learning that someone else knew about it.

"He said he was going to send it to the D.A.'s office and have me criminally charged," Pereira said.

Police said Simpson would be kept isolated from the other 3,300 inmates until a court hearing Wednesday, when Clark County District Attorney David Roger plans to request that Simpson's bail be revoked and he be kept in jail until trial.

Simpson had been instructed by Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe M. Bonaventure in September not to have any contact with anyone involved in the case — not even by "carrier pigeon."

Simpson was freed Sept. 19 on $125,000 bail following his arrest on allegations he and several friends burst into a Las Vegas hotel room and robbed two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint.

Simpson has maintained that he was retrieving items that belonged to him. He and the two other men are scheduled to stand trial April 7.

'New crimes' allegation
The prosecutor alleges that Simpson left the voice message with Pereira for Stewart on Nov. 16, two days after Bonaventure ruled that Simpson, Stewart and Charles Ehrlich should stand trial on 12 charges, including kidnapping and armed robbery.

Roger's three-page motion alleges Simpson "committed new crimes," without providing details or elaboration. Dan Kulin, a spokesman for Roger, declined to say whether new charges would be filed against Simpson.

Galanter said he believed the "new crimes" referred to allegations of witness tampering. He called Pereira a member of Simpson's defense team, and said he was "totally miffed" by the effort to use a tape of a permissible phone call to try to revoke Simpson's bail.

"He was clearly voicing frustration to a member of the defense team who had been providing security, transportation and investigation services," Galanter said.

Pereira said he provided security and transportation, and that Simpson stayed at his home during the preliminary hearing.

But he said he and his business, You Ring We Spring bail bonds in North Las Vegas, were not part of Simpson's legal team.

"I'm a separate entity," he said. "Whenever they go into their attorney-client thing, I step out of the room. I'm not an investigator, nor am I hired or paid by their defense team."

Pereira said he was upset that Simpson never paid him the 15 percent, or $18,750, he was due for posting Simpson's $125,000 bail.

"I'm in the bag for plane tickets, car rental down in Florida, even the $40 filing fee at the jail," he said.

Simpson, Stewart and Ehrlich each pleaded not guilty Nov. 28 to kidnapping, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, coercion and conspiracy charges. A kidnapping conviction could bring a life sentence with the possibility of parole. An armed robbery conviction carries mandatory prison time.

Three other former co-defendants, Walter Alexander, Michael McClinton and Charles Cashmore, agreed to plea deals and testified against Simpson at the evidentiary hearing.

Simpson 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. He has said he intended only to retrieve items that had been stolen from him by a former agent, including the suit he wore the day he was acquitted of murder in 1995 in the slayings of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.