Co-counsel: Simpson was dependent on main attorney
LAS VEGAS (AP) — O.J. Simpson became so dependent on his lawyer during his Las Vegas armed robbery trial that the former football star would have done anything Yale Galanter advised — including passing up the chance to testify, his co-counsel testified Tuesday.
"I could advise O.J. all day long, and he was very respectful of me," Gabriel Grasso told a court considering Simpson's bid for a retrial. "But if I advised him of something different from what Yale said, he would do what Yale said."
It was Galanter's decision not to have Simpson testify, Grasso said.
Under questioning from H. Leon Simon, attorney for the state, Grasso acknowledged the trial judge, Jackie Glass, specifically asked Simpson if he wanted to testify and he said no.
"Mr. Galanter told him, 'This is the way it's going to be,'" Grasso said.
He said Simpson's confidence in Galanter was born of the acquittal he gained for the former Hall of Fame football player in a road rage case in Florida five years after his 1995 acquittal on murder charges in the stabbing deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles.
Galanter is now the focus of Simpson's motion claiming ineffective assistance of counsel and conflicted interests. He has declined to comment until he takes the stand Friday.
Simpson is due to testify Wednesday — midway through a five-day evidentiary hearing on his effort to get a new trial. Now 65, he's serving nine to 33 years in prison for his conviction on armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges in a 2007 gunpoint confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas casino hotel.
Grasso ended two days of sometimes searing attacks on Galanter's promises and performance by softening his assessment of Galanter's skills.
"''I feel he's a capable attorney," he said. "Now that I know how things turned out, this wasn't his best case."
"Was Mr. Galanter trying to sell O.J. down the river?" asked Simon.
"No," said Grasso.
Simpson attorney Ozzie Fumo asked retired Clark County District Attorney David Roger, who prosecuted Simpson, whether investigators ever determined if Galanter helped Simpson plan the hotel room confrontation and was in Las Vegas the night before the heist.
"He said he did not advise Mr. Simpson to commit armed robbery," Roger said.