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O.J. Simpson guilty of armed robbery, kidnapping

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  • NEW: Fred Goldman "absolutely thrilled" at possible life sentence for Simpson
  • Ex-football star 'extremely emotional' after verdict, attorney says
  • Jury finds Simpson guilty of all counts in 2007 sports memorabilia heist
  • Simpson, co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart could spend rest of lives in prison
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From Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer
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LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison after he and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart were found guilty on 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping.

The jury reached the verdict 13 years to the day after O.J. Simpson was acquitted of two murders.

The case involved a Las Vegas, Nevada, hotel room confrontation over sports memorabilia. Simpson said the items had been stolen from him.

Friday's verdicts came 13 years to the day after a Los Angeles jury acquitted Simpson of killing his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, was thrilled with the result.

"We're absolutely thrilled to see that the potential is that he could spend the rest of his life in jail, where the scumbag belongs," Goldman said Saturday. "Right now, there is not much more to say other than we're going to wait to find out what else happens."

The Las Vegas jury reached its verdict after about 13 hours of deliberations Friday.

Simpson sat quietly and showed little emotion at the defense table as he listened to the verdicts being read. Video Watch O.J. Simpson verdict being read »

Deputies then handcuffed Simpson and led him from the courtroom.

Simpson, 61, could get life in prison for these convictions. Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass set sentencing for December 5.

Defense attorney Yale Galanter spoke with Simpson after the verdict and said the former football star was "extremely upset, extremely emotional."

Galanter said he will file a motion for a new trial and appeal the case.

Simpson and Stewart were charged with 12 counts, including conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery, assault and kidnapping with a deadly weapon.

Carmelita Durio, Simpson's sister, sobbed as he was being escorted out of the courtroom, The Associated Press reported. As spectators left the courtroom, Durio collapsed, and paramedics were called, court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer said. Video Watch O.J. Simpson being removed from court »

Although Glass prohibited mention of the 1995 murder case during the robbery trial, it remained an unspoken undercurrent throughout.

"From the beginning, my biggest concern, and I told you this the day after Mr. Simpson was arrested, was whether jurors would be able to separate their very strong feelings about Mr. Simpson and judge him fairly, equally and honestly," Galanter said.

Stewart attorney Brent Bryson said he was shocked by the verdict and said his client was hurt by Simpson's notoriety.

"I'm in disbelief that a jury could come back and find all those counts and convict Mr. Stewart on all those counts," Bryson said. "The only explanation that is even conceivable is the spillover prejudice from sitting next to Mr. Simpson."

Simpson arrived at the Clark County Justice Center about 10:50 p.m. Simpson told CNN before the verdict was read that he was "apprehensive."

Prosecutors charged that Simpson led a group of men who used threats, guns and force to take photographs, footballs and other items from memorabilia dealers Bruce Fromong and Al Beardsley in September 2007.

But a defense attorney said Simpson was targeted by police out to get him and cohorts in order to make "big bucks" off him.

Neither Simpson nor Stewart testified during the trial, and witnesses gave sometimes conflicting and contradictory testimony.

Galanter said Simpson was a target of investigators from the very beginning. The case "has taken on a life of its own because of Mr. Simpson's involvement," he added.

"Every cooperator, every person who had a gun, every person who had an ulterior motive, every person who signed a book deal, every person who got paid money, the police, the district attorney's office is only interested in one thing: Mr. Simpson," Galanter said.

The most compelling evidence for both sides came from audiotapes.

For the prosecution, conversations taped by collectibles middleman Thomas Riccio took jurors from the poolside planning to the profanity-laced hotel room confrontation.

Riccio, a chatty sports memorabilia dealer and convicted felon, made the rounds on network news shows immediately after the hotel room fracas. He admitted on the stand that various media outlets paid him $210,000.

The crucial evidence for the defense came from two audiotapes: a voicemail from a key prosecution witness who seemed willing to tailor his testimony for a price and tapes of Las Vegas police officers laughing and joking about Simpson's Los Angeles acquittal following his arrest.

Galanter told jurors the surreptitious recording captured police investigators in the hotel room after the confrontation. "They're making jokes. They're saying things like, 'We're gonna get him,"' he said.

Police were called to the hotel about 8 p.m. September 13, 2007. Shortly after midnight, detectives visited Simpson at his hotel. He told them he was just trying to recover property that had been stolen from him.

"Why are they not in trouble?" Simpson asked about memorabilia dealers Beardsley and Fromong, according to police reports filed in the case. Both men testified for the prosecution, although Beardsley said Simpson did nothing wrong and was "set up" by the "rat Riccio."

Riccio, who was not charged in the case, testified that he didn't think twice about recording Simpson when asked for help retrieving what Simpson claimed was his property.

All four of the former co-defendants testified for the prosecution. Two of them tied Simpson to guns and threats.

Michael McClinton testified that Simpson instructed him to bring a gun and "look menacing" before they entered the hotel room.

Simpson has told police he had no idea the people with him were armed.

The testimony was laced with innuendo about unsavory activities by several of the witnesses, many with criminal records. Riccio and Beardsley feuded openly, calling each other names and questioning each other's sanity.

Aware that loose cannons on the stand could blow the case into mistrial purgatory, Glass refused to let David Cook testify. Cook, an attorney for the family of Ronald Lyle Goldman, searches for Simpson assets to satisfy the $33.5 million civil judgment against the former NFL star.

Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife and Goldman in a trial that ended 13 years to the day before the Las Vegas jury began its deliberations.

Regarding Glass' ruling, Cook said, "If you read between the lines, I think she thought my appearance would bring up the Ghost of Christmas Past."


As testimony neared its end, Glass vented her frustration with the quibbling lawyers.

"I'm trying to get this trial back on track," she snapped. "I am surprised you haven't seen my head spin and fire come out of my mouth at this point in this trial."

CNN's Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.

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