OJ Simpson testifies in bid for new trial (updated)

Updated at 1:27 p.m. EDT with Simpson taking the witness stand

O.J. Simpson is telling his side of the story today in a hearing aimed at winning a new trial on his 2008 conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping.

Simpson, 65, is serving a maximum 33-year sentence in a Nevada prison and the appeal, before a Clark County, Nev., judge, represents what may be his last chance at freedom. Simpson, appearing noticeably heavier and grayer, is not eligible for parole until he is 70.

One of Simpson's hands was unshackled so that he could take notes during Tuesday's hearing. (Ethan Miller / Associated Press)
One of Simpson’s hands was unshackled so that he could take notes during Tuesday’s hearing. (Ethan Miller / Associated Press)

For the first two days of the hearing, Simpson was shackled to his courtroom seat as witnesses testified. He contends that he received poor advice from his former counsel, Yale Galanter, during the trial that resulted in his conviction after he and several friends raided a Las Vegas hotel room to retrieve sports memorabilia Simpson believed had been stolen from him.

Among other things, Simpson claims that Galanter never told him that a plea bargain had been offered by prosecutors.

“Yale had a good relationship with the media,” Simpson testified in response to questioning from his lawyer, Patricia Palm.

“I was in the media a lot. He was able to refute many of the tabloid stories,” Simpson said with what the Associated Press reporter said was a laugh. “He sort of liked doing it; he told me he did.”

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For today’s testimony, the courtroom was full, with more than 15 people sent to an overflow room. His lawyer, Ozzie Fumo, said Tuesday that Simpson has “been wanting to tell his story. He’s excited about telling his story.”

A 2010 appeal of his conviction was denied by the Nevada Supreme Court.

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · May 15, 2013