I-Team: Victim speaks about O.J. Simpson raid

LAS VEGAS - The nation’s “Trial of the Century” and Nevada’s “Trial of the Century” both involved the same person: O.J. Simpson.

Simpson is locked up in Northern Nevada for a robbery and kidnapping that took place nearly nine years ago.

The NFL Hall of Famer  has served eight years and counting. He is still a year and a half away from his first parole hearing, but he’s received a lot of attention lately.

A popular television series recently aired about his murder trial in California in which he was accused of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. A jury acquitted him of the murder charges.

Meanwhile, an upcoming ESPN 10-hour series on the life and trials of Simpson begins next month.

The I-Team spoke exclusively with Bruce Fromong, the man who was central to the Nevada case.

“California couldn’t get him, and Nevada did,” said Fromong.

He is a Las Vegas sports memorabilia dealer. His relationship with Simpson goes back more than two decades. In fact, he bought and sold O.J. Simpson merchandise that Simpson signed while in the Los Angeles County Jail facing murder charges.

“During the 17 months, we did $3 million worth of business,“ Fromong said.

He also collected Simpson memorabilia. That merchandise became central to the Nevada case.

In the summer of 2007, Fromong received a phone call from Alfred Beardsley, an acquaintance and longtime Simpson memorabilia collector. Beardsley wanted to buy more than $100,000 worth of O.J. Simpson merchandise.

In September 2007, they decided to make the deal. It would take place at the Palace Station casino in room 1203. Fromong was in that hotel room waiting for the buyer to show up when he got the surprise of his life.

“I’m on the phone, and the door busted open,” Fromong said. “The first guy hit me. The second guy’s got a gun, and I know I’m being robbed. The last guy into the room is O.J. The first thing on my mind is, 'O.J., how can you be so stupid?' One guy comes over into my face with a gun, 'I’ll shoot your ass. If we were in LA, this would be different.’”

The exchange took no more than five minutes. Fromong says he believes Thomas Riccio set up Simpson, taped the entire affair and sold it to TMZ for an estimated $150,000.

“There was so much evidence... everything was all documented,” said Judge Jackie Glass, now retired, who presided over the case. “We had the guys walking in the video."

One thing never presented at trial was Simpson’s condition that night.

“He had been drinking all night, doing coke. They had been partying for the wedding,” Fromong said.

Drugs or not, a jury convicted Simpson. He was sentenced to nine to 33 years for robbery and kidnapping, but he could’ve gotten off much easier

“He was given a plea deal,” Glass said. “If he had taken it, he’d be out by now.”

Glass denies she was out to get O.J. Simpson. "I had to base it on what I had in front of me and was just doing my job,” she said. 

“I think when you get acquitted on double murder charges, you have a feeling of invincibility, and you can do whatever you want, and he did whatever he wanted,” Glass said.
 
The plea deal that Simpson rejected would have put him in jail for only two years. His first chance at parole is October 2017.
 
Fromong was also interviewed for the ESPN documentary. It will involve both the criminal and civil trials in Los Angeles, as well as the trial and conviction in Nevada.

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