LAS VEGAS – O.J. Simpson returned to jail, where he will spend several days before a judge hears allegations that the former football star violated terms of his bail in an armed robbery case, officials said.
Simpson, 60, arrived in Las Vegas Friday on a commercial flight from Florida with his bail bondsman, Miguel Pereira.
He was taken in handcuffs by a police escort to the Clark County Detention Center, where both he and Pereira ignored questions from reporters.
Police said Simpson would be kept isolated from the other 3,300 inmates until a court hearing Wednesday, when Clark County District Attorney David Roger plans to request that Simpson’s bail be revoked and he be kept in jail until trial.
The prosecutor alleges that in a November voice message, Simpson told Pereira to contact co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart and express frustration about testimony given at the hearing where Simpson, Stewart and a third man were ordered to stand trial.
“I just want, want C.J. to know that … I’m tired of this (expletive),” Simpson is quoted as saying in a transcript that was included in Roger’s motion to revoke bail, filed Friday. “Fed up with (expletive) changing what they told me. All right?”
Simpson had been instructed by Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe M. Bonaventure in September not to have any contact with anyone involved in the case – not even by “carrier pigeon.”
Simpson’s lawyer denied the allegations.
“O.J. did not try to persuade anybody to contact a witness,” Yale Galanter told The Associated Press.
Simpson flew to Las Vegas on a commercial flight from Miami in the custody of his bail bondsman. The bail bond company revoked Simpson’s bond, said Officer Ramon Denby, a Las Vegas police spokesman.
Simpson was freed Sept. 19 on US$125,000 bail following his arrest on allegations he and several friends burst into a Las Vegas hotel room and robbed two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint.
Simpson has maintained that he was retrieving items that belonged to him. He and the two other men are scheduled to stand trial April 7.
The prosecutor alleges that Simpson left the voice message with bail bondsman Miguel Pereira for Stewart on Nov. 16, two days after Bonaventure ruled that Simpson, Stewart and Charles Ehrlich should stand trial on 12 charges, including kidnapping and armed robbery.
Roger’s three-page motion alleges Simpson “committed new crimes,” without providing details or elaboration. Dan Kulin, a spokesman for Roger, declined to say whether new charges would be filed against Simpson.
Galanter said he believed the “new crimes” referred to allegations of witness tampering. Galanter called Pereira a member of Simpson’s defense team, and said he was “totally miffed” by the effort to use a tape of a permissible phone call to try to revoke Simpson’s bail.
“He was clearly voicing frustration to a member of the defense team who had been providing security, transportation and investigation services,” he said.
Galanter said Simpson stayed at Pereira’s home during the preliminary hearing, but said he thought the bondsman apparently changed sides.
“He is clearly now a witness for the prosecution,” Galanter said of Pereira. He said he intended to question the bondsman under oath Wednesday regarding the telephone message and how the tape recording came to be turned over to prosecutors.
Pereira did not respond to messages seeking comment. A bail bondsman at his business, You Ring We Spring bail bonds in North Las Vegas, declined immediate comment.
Stewart’s lawyer, Jose Pallares, said Friday he had no knowledge that Simpson’s message ever got to Stewart.