O.J. Simpson out of jail, back in Fla.
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 3:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 3:42 p.m.
LAS VEGAS - O.J. Simpson returned home to Miami on Thursday, a day after an angry Las Vegas judge doubled his bail but allowed him to stay out of jail while he awaits trial on armed robbery.
Tom Scotto, who coordinated with four other friends to raise Simpson's bail, greeted Simpson after his arrival at Miami International Airport and escorted him to a waiting sport utility vehicle. Neither man spoke to reporters before the vehicle departed from the airport.
When Scotto talked to Simpson the night before the bail revocation hearing, "He said, 'Pray for me.' That's a first. He was really nervous she wasn't going to let him out."
Simpson, 60, posted bond and was released from jail just after 11 p.m. Wednesday. He walked out by himself, got into a white Mercedes, and was driven away without speaking to the media.
The former football star was picked up last Friday in Florida by a bail bondsman and taken back to Nevada for violating terms of his release.
He had been ordered to have no contact with co-defendants or witnesses after he was freed on bail in September on charges of orchestrating the armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a hotel room.
But he found himself before a judge again Wednesday because he mentioned co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart while leaving a sputtering, foul-mouthed phone message two months ago for his bail bondsman, Miguel Pereira of You Ring We Spring.
"I don't know, Mr. Simpson, what the heck you were thinking, or maybe that's the problem — you weren't," Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass said.
In the message, Simpson asked Pereira to tell Stewart how frustrated he was about testimony during a preliminary hearing several days earlier.
"I just want, want C.J. to know that ... I'm tired of this (expletive)," Simpson said, according to a transcript. "Fed up with (expletives) changing what they told me. All right?"
Though there was no indication Stewart received the message, prosecutor Chris Owens suggested it was threatening. The judge merely said she didn't like the tone.
"I don't know if it's just arrogance. I don't know if it's ignorance," she said as she set his bail at $250,000. "But you've been locked up at the Clark County Detention Center since Friday because of arrogance or ignorance — or both."
Defense attorney Yale Galanter denied the call was an effort by Simpson to contact Stewart.
Simpson and two other men are to face trial April 7. They have pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, coercion and conspiracy charges. An armed robbery conviction carries mandatory prison time. A kidnapping conviction could bring a life sentence with the possibility of parole.
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