If the Goldman family has its way, it may soon own the sports memorabilia over which OJ Simpson is accused of committing armed robbery to recover for himself.
Since winning a multimillion-euro settlement against Simpson in Ron Goldman’s death, the family has waged a decade-long campaign to track down and claim Simpson’s assets.
That effort hasn’t stopped with the NFL star’s arrest following a confrontation with memorabilia collectors in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Today the family plans to file request in the Superior Court to obtain ownership of the sports memorabilia seized.
David Cook, an attorney for Goldman’s father, Fred Goldman, said he believed Nevada authorities would turn over the items with a court order after Simpson’s criminal case finishes.
The items include Simpson’s Hall of Fame certificate, a gold Rolex watch and the suit Simpson wore on the day he was acquitted, Cook said.
“Assuming that this case is resolved one way or another, at the end of the case, the stuff will never go back to Mr Simpson,” Cook vowed. “He’s going to walk out of Clark County empty-handed.”
Simpson is being held without bail in Clark County Detention Centre on six felonies, including two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon.
If convicted, he could receive up to 30 years in state prison on each robbery count alone.
Another man suspected in the alleged heist surrendered yesterday. Clarence Stewart, 53, of Las Vegas, lived at one of the residences that police searched on Sunday morning to recover some of the memorabilia.
Stewart turned over some of the missing goods, including footballs bearing autographs, police said. He was being held on six felony charges, including robbery with a deadly weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Another man, Walter Alexander, 46, of Mesa, Arizona, was released without bail. He faces charges almost identical to Simpson’s.
A fourth man, Tom Scotto, was questioned and cleared of suspicion after police concluded he was not in the room, reducing the number of outstanding suspects to two, police said. Both were apparently seeking attorneys and preparing to surrender, police said.
Simpson’s arraignment was set for Wednesday. Yale Galanter, Simpson’s lawyer, said he was preparing a bond motion and will ask for Simpson’s release on his own recognisance.
“If it was anyone other than OJ Simpson, he would have been released by now,” he said.
“You can’t rob something that is yours,” Galanter said. “OJ said: ’You’ve got stolen property. Either you return it or I call the police.”’
The Goldmans hope the property never finds its way back to Simpson.
Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of killing his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Goldman.
In 1997, however, a civil jury in Santa Monica returned €24.2m in judgments against Simpson in a wrongful-death lawsuit by the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman.
The jury awarded €6.1m in compensatory damages to Ron Goldman’s estate and a total of €18m in punitive damages, divided equally between both estates.
Today’s hearing was originally scheduled in connection with any money the Goldmans say Simpson earned from a video game featuring his likeness.
Despite extensive court hearings, however, most of the judgment has remained unpaid.
In 1999, seized personal property was auctioned off, raising only €309,000, more than half of it from the sale of his Heisman Trophy.
The house itself did not generate anything toward paying the judgment.
A bank foreclosed on the home, put it up for auction and bought it back.