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O.J.’s Vegas trial nears an end

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Closing arguments are expected today in the O.J. Simpson armed robbery/kidnapping trial. Yesterday defense witness, Tom Scotto, testified that two of Simpson’s cohorts tried to extort $50 thousand out of him. Scotto pointed the finger at Michael McClinton and Walter Alexander who have admitted carrying weapons to an alleged raid on two sports memorabilia dealers in a Vegas hotel room in September of 2007.

Scotto was in Vegas to get married. Simpson was supposed to be Scotto’s best man. The hotel confrontation occurred two days before Scotto’s wedding. Also, Scotto handed over to authorities a taped voice mail message in which Alexander appears to ask for money. The defense rested its case without Simpson ever taking the stand.

The prosecution called rebuttal witnesses, one of them lead Detective Andy Caldwell. It was the detective’s third appearance at the trial, however, Caldwell caused some courtroom drama when it was thought he suggested Scotto tried to tamper with witnesses. However, a review of his testimony showed the detective had suggested Mrs. Scotto was the one who had tried to sway witnesses. The judge refused to grant a mistrial despite demands from the defense attorneys.

Simpson and co-defendant, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, are facing a dozen charges that could get them long prison sentences, if they are convicted. The other four members of Simpson’s entourage on the night of the alleged crime have accepted plea deals.

Along with closing arguments today, the judge is expected to give deliberation instructions to the jury as well.

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