O.J. Simpson's former lawyer Yale Galanter has denied authorising the incarcerated star's 2007 raid on two memorabilia dealers' Las Vegas hotel room, insisting he advised against the risky heist on the eve of the crime.
At a hearing on Wednesday (15May13), the former footballer-turned-actor told Clark County District Court officials that he had asked Galanter for his legal opinion before staging an act to retrieve items he believed had been stolen from him.
Simpson said, "I followed what I thought was the law. My lawyer told me I couldn't break into a guy's room. I didn't break into anybody's room. I didn't try to muscle the guys. The guys had my stuff, even though they claimed they didn't steal it."
He and a group of acquaintances were arrested and Simpson was convicted for kidnapping and armed robbery, for which he is currently serving nine to 33 years behind bars.
Simpson is now appealing for the right to a retrial on the grounds that Galanter was incompetent in his handling of the case, and the attorney took the witness stand on Friday (17May13).
During his testimony, Galanter claimed his former client had mentioned the heist plan to him at dinner the night before the incident, and he had warned the sportsman to call the authorities and ask them to sort out the problem.
He said, "When he first mentioned it, it just went over my head. About a minute or two later, I leaned over and said, 'What are you talking about? What are you doing?'
"He told me he finally had a lead on some personal pictures and memorabilia that was stolen from him years earlier. I said, 'O.J., you've got to call the police.'"
Galanter also testified that Simpson was well aware that two of his companions were carrying guns during the heist - claims the embattled star has denied.
The lawyer recalled speaking to Simpson after his arrest: "He said, 'The other guys had guns and I didn't...' He knew he screwed up."
District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell will rule on the retrial request after a week of testimonies.