Judge sentences OJ Simpson to 15 years in prison
Published: Friday December 5, 2008

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Former football great OJ Simpson was sentenced by a Las Vegas judge to serve 15 years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel armed robbery. Simpson will have to serve at least six years before being eligible for parole.

With tears in his eyes, fallen football legend O.J. Simpson Friday apologized for an armed robbery on a hotel room as he faced a stiff jail term of a minimum of six years, before the judge handed him the longer term.

"I'm sorry," Simpson said as he stood to address judge Jackie Glass after she rejected a defense request not to imprison the former sports giant, found guilty of 12 charges in a 2007 armed robbery and kidnapping case.

"I did not know that I was doing anything illegal. I thought that I was confronting friends and retrieving my property. So I am sorry. I am sorry for all of it," Simpson said, his voice trembling as he fought back tears.

Earlier, looking nervous and dressed in a blue prison uniform, Simpson listened intently as his lawyer Yale Galanter asked Glass not to imprison his client, but the judge denied that request.

"You can't take back your own property by force," said Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass. "This is not behavior we can say this is OK, don't worry."

He was found guilty for his role in a September 2007 raid in which he and a group of friends stormed a Las Vegas hotel and robbed two dealers of a trove of sports memorabilia, which Simpson still maintains belonged to him.

Simpson's conviction on October 3 came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted in his earlier 1995 trial of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman.

On Friday it was the first time the football star had addressed the court as he did not testify during his three-week trial.

Going through all the charges, Galanter asked the judge for all sentences to run concurrently and said the appropriate sentences would be between six and 17 and a half years in jail.

Simpson said he was trying to get back personal items which had been stolen from his family after years of frustration at seeing his property end up for sale on the Internet and finding no way of catching the perpetrators.

"Property that over the years we have seen being sold on the Internet, and we have seen pictures of ours that were stolen from our home going into the tabloids," he said.

"This is the first time I had an opportunity to catch the guys red-handed who had been stealing from my family. I knew these guys."

He said among the items he was looking for was a picture of his son in the Oval Office and his daughter's mother's wedding ring.

(with wire reports)

This video is from CNN.com, broadcast Dec. 5, 2008.

Download video via RawReplay.com