Simpson Case Snares Hodgepodge Cast Of Suspects, Victims

O.J. Simpson's hotel room heist involved eight other men with little in common, save for an interest in an infamous former football star and, in some cases, a penchant for running afoul of the law.

To retrieve memorabilia he calls his own, Simpson enlisted the help of an auctioneer and ex-felon.

The two plotted to surprise a pair of longtime Simpson memorabilia dealers looking to sell merchandise to someone they were led to believe was a private dealer.

In the hours before the heist, Simpson rounded up a crew of five men, three with prior legal troubles including domestic violence, theft and trafficking cocaine.

What happened when Simpson confronted the dealers in a Las Vegas
hotel room is now the subject of a criminal case.

Simpson and the five men are charged with felony armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges that could bring life sentences.

Police say they pulled handguns on the dealers and stole thousands of dollars worth of items.

Here is a look at the men caught up in the Simpson holdup story:

- Alfred Beardsley, 45: As a longtime collector of Simpson paraphernalia, Beardsley frequently has emerged in the struggle of the families of slaying victims Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson to reclaim Simpson memorabilia to help satisfy the families' $33.5 million civil judgment against the ex-football star.

He recently was publicly peddling a suit of clothes worn by Simpson when the jury returned a not guilty verdict in his double murder trial.

He hoped the "acquittal suit" would fetch $100,000, Beardsley told TMZ.com.

The Burbank, Calif., man's legal troubles go back more than a decade.

In 1995, he pleaded no contest to selling a pirated version of the baseball movie "The Rookie."

He was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 2000 after he slammed his car into newspaper columnist's van, while the columnist was inside.

In 2004, he was convicted of stalking a waitress, a felony that landed him three years probation.

He later violated a restraining order by continuing to reach out to the woman.

He left a message on her answering machine telling her it was hard for him "to run his 'empire' without her," according to a police report.

Beardsley was sentenced to a California prison in April 2005 and was released after spending 11 months of a two-year sentence.

He's been jailed in Las Vegas since shortly after the alleged robbery
for violating parole.

- Bruce Fromong, 53: An associate of Beardsley's, Fromong appears to have owned the memorabilia allegedly stolen from the Palace Station casino hotel room.

Fromong, of North Las Vegas, served in the Navy, both in active duty and as a reservist, from 1979 to 1991.

He has no criminal convictions.

In the late 1990s, he worked at Folsom State Prison and in his spare time sold sports memorabilia, specializing in Simpson-signed items.

Fromong calls himself a friend of Simpson's.

He testified for the defense at Simpson's civil trial, telling jurors that the
market for Simpson's autograph had slowed since his acquittal.

During the "Trial of the Century" it was "like sharks to blood," Fromong testified, but things changed.

Fromong attributed that to people having "a bad taste in their mouth for O.J. Simpson."

After the hotel room incident Fromong suffered a heart attack and spent several days in a California hospital before being released.

- Tom Riccio, 44: An auctioneer and part owner of Universal Rarities in Corona, Calif., he first made headlines by bringing Simpson to a horror convention in Los Angeles for an autograph signing after Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife and her friend.

He later sold Anna Nicole Smith's handwritten diary.

In the mid-1980s Riccio was convicted of felony grand larceny in Florida. In 1994, a California jury convicted him of receiving thousands of dollars worth of stolen rare coins.

A year later he pleaded no contest to felony arson and possession of flammable material and was sentenced to more than six years in a California prison.

Riccio's attorney Ryan Okabe says his client's legal troubles are irrelevant.

"It's not related to what transpired on the night in question," he said.

He arranged the meeting between Simpson and the memorabilia dealers; he has not been charged.

- Walter Alexander, 46: Simpson reached out to Alexander shortly after both men arrived in Las Vegas for a mutual friend's wedding, according Alexander's lawyer, Robert Dennis Rentzer.

A real estate agent from Mesa, Ariz., Alexander had been Simpson's golfing partner before a falling out.

His uncle was the godfather of a child from Simpson's first marriage, who died in a swimming pool accident.

The men met and Simpson told Alexander about his plans to surprise Beardsley and Fromong and retrieve memorabilia.

Police say Alexander was armed at the time of the robbery, but that his
firearm was not drawn.

In 1987, Alexander was arrested in Los Angeles for kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, but the charges were dismissed because a "witness refused to ID the defendant," court records show.

In 1995, he was sentenced to three years probation on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. He served 11 days in jail.

Rentzer said it was an "inconsequential" dispute between Alexander and his ex-wife.

"For at least 10 years, if not longer, he has been leading a very upright and proper life," Rentzer said.

- Clarence Stewart, 53: "C.J." of North Las Vegas also golfed with Simpson when he visited.

Stewart's lawyer, Robert Lucherini, described him as a mortgage broker, a family friend and a sort of 'concierge' for Simpson on his Las Vegas trips. He has no criminal record.

The evening of the hotel incident Simpson wanted a ride to meet Beardsley and Fromong, Stewart reluctantly obliged, Lucherini said.

Stewart brought a friend, Charles Cashmore, who wanted to meet the
infamous star.

- Charles Cashmore, 40: He's "local union guy" who does a little bit of everything, according to his Edward Miley.

He's spent most of the past 15 years in Las Vegas and finds work at the local laborers union hall, sometimes as a chef. In his off time, he
deejays at private parties, Miley said.

In 1996, he was charged with felony theft in an embezzlement case in Provo, Utah.

Cashmore pleaded guilty and bargained the charge to a misdemeanor and probation.

- Michael McClinton, 50: McClinton is the man police believe pulled a gun, acted like a police officer, and searched Fromong and Beardsley for weapons.

A search of his Las Vegas home turned up two handguns, a suit that matched one worn by a suspect, and a concealed weapons permit in McClinton's name, according to police.

McClinton's attorney, Bill Terry, said his client works in security and has a clean record.

He's lived in Las Vegas for more than 10 years, has a home and a stable job.

Terry declined to comment on McClinton's connection to Simpson, but Alexander led police to McClinton's residence after his arrest.

- Charles Ehrlich, 53: A real estate agent, he lives with and cares for his elderly mother outside Miami, according to his lawyer John Moran Jr.

Ehrlich, an acquaintance of Simpson, also was in Las Vegas for the wedding, Moran said.

Ehrlich's criminal record includes a conviction in the early 1990s for trafficking cocaine.

Moran describes it as "brushes with the law." "His role is basically a non-role," Moran said.


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