Audio of Events with ”OJ Simpson” is posted…for a price, of course!

As Simpson Awaits Bail Hearing, Audio of Events Is Posted…

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VIVA LAS VEGAS…A profanity-filled audio recording, apparently of O. J. Simpson and others during the incident last week that led to his arrest here on charges of armed robbery, surfaced online on Monday.

In the 34-second recording, the voice of a man identified as Mr. Simpson by TMZ.com, the Web site where it is posted, is heard repeatedly telling others not to let anyone out of the room and accusing those present of stealing his property and trying to sell it.

Mr. Simpson was held without bail on six felony charges; a bail hearing was scheduled for Wednesday morning in Clark County Justice Court before Judge Ann E. Zimmerman, who may conduct the hearing in person or by videoconference.

Two sports memorabilia collectors and dealers, Alfred Beardsley of Glendale, Calif., and Bruce L. Fromong of North Las Vegas, Nev., told the police that Mr. Simpson and five other men stormed into their hotel room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino, about a mile from the Las Vegas Strip, on Thursday evening and robbed them at gunpoint.

Mr. Beardsley and Mr. Fromong told the police that Mr. Simpson had led the group and that the items taken included photographs and books signed by Mr. Simpson, lithographs of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana and Mr. Beardsley’s cellphone.

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Mr. Simpson told The Associated Press that he was innocent and that there had been no guns involved in the incident, which he called a sting operation he had organized. He said that he and some acquaintances left a cocktail party and went to Mr. Beardsley’s room, accompanied by Thomas Riccio, another dealer and auctioneer of sports memorabilia. Mr. Simpson said Mr. Riccio had alerted him several weeks ago that Mr. Beardsley and Mr. Fromong were offering to sell items of his, and that Mr. Riccio had set up a meeting with the two men, supposedly on behalf of an interested buyer.

Mr. Riccio said Monday that he had made the audio recording that TMZ.com posted and that the Web site had paid him for it. He would not say how much he had received or answer any other questions.

Lt. Clint Nichols of the Las Vegas police said that Mr. Riccio withheld the audio recording for four days before he sold it to the Web site, which may taint its utility to prosecutors. “He did not turn that over to us immediately, so that evidentiary value may have been damaged,” the officer said. Lieutenant Nichols also said it appeared Mr. Simpson had prior social relationships with all of the men involved.

“This was not a grab-five-people-in-the-lobby-and-come-with-me-type of thing,” he said.

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Mr. Simpson, 60, was arrested Sunday and was booked into the Clark County Detention Center. One of the men accused of joining him, Walter Alexander, 46, of Mesa, Ariz., had also been arrested and was released Sunday on his own recognizance. Each man was charged with six felonies: two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one of conspiracy to commit burglary and one of burglary with a firearm.

Lieutenant Nichols said Mr. Alexander was helpful after his lawyer, Robert Rentzer of Los Angeles, allowed him to be questioned on the condition that nothing Mr. Alexander said could be used against him.

Another man accused in the case, Clarence Stewart, 53, of Las Vegas, surrendered Monday at his lawyer’s office, the A.P. quoted Lieutenant Nichols as saying.

Mr. Stewart turned over some of the missing goods, including autographed footballs, the lieutenant said. Mr. Stewart was also held on six felony charges.

The police said they were seeking three other men, including Michael F. McClinton, 49, of Las Vegas.

Another man named earlier as a suspect, Tom Scotto of New York City, was cleared when he proved to the police he was elsewhere on Thursday night, the lieutenant said.

Two other suspects have been tentatively identified, he said.

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Thank you STEVE FRIESS and The New York Times.

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~ by thebabyboomerqueen on September 20, 2007.

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