Judge sets bail for O.J. at US$125,000 in Las Vegas case

By Dan Whitcomb, Reuters

LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas court granted bail of US$125,000 on Wednesday to former American football star O.J. Simpson, who faces criminal charges stemming from what police say was an armed robbery of his own sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas hotel.

Simpson, who was acquitted of killing his ex-wife and her friend in 1995 after a sensational double murder trial, appeared in court at a hearing lasting about 10 minutes.

Simpson, who faces charges including kidnapping, armed robbery and assault, has not yet entered a plea. One of his lawyers, Yale Galanter, told reporters after the court hearing Simpson would be pleading not guilty.

The man whose murder trial captivated the United States more than a decade ago was dressed in blue jail clothes and answered simply “Yes sir” when the judge in the case asked him if he understood the charges against him.

A court spokesman, Michael Sommermeyer, said Simpson would be freed on bail later on Wednesday.

Under the bail conditions, Simpson, who lives in Florida, will have to surrender his passport but will be allowed to travel within the United States.

“He is relieved. He just wants to get home and be with his family and kids,” Galanter said of the bail agreement.

Simpson and three co-defendants face a total of 11 charges that could send the 60-year-old athlete-turned-actor to prison for the rest of his life.

Simpson was arrested on Sunday and had been held without bail since then.

The next hearing in the case was set for the week of Oct. 22.

The Las Vegas charges stem from what authorities say was the armed theft last week by Simpson of his own sports memorabilia from a pair of collectors who were staying at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino.

Simpson has told reporters he did nothing wrong and was merely trying to retrieve his own collectibles, personal photos, his Hall of Fame certificate and other items he said had been stolen by a former sports agent.