O.J. Simpson In Flight To Florida After Bailing Out Of Vegas Jail

By: Kimberly Chandler Email
By: Kimberly Chandler Email

O.J. Simpson was on a flight to Miami, a day after he received a blistering rebuke from a judge who doubled his bail and chastised him for violating terms of his release on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery.

"He's on the flight," Tom Scotto, who coordinated with four other friends to raise Simpson's bail money in Florida, said early Thursday.

Scotto said he planned to meet Simpson when he arrived at Miami International Airport at 1:20 p.m. EST.

"He's really happy he got out," Scotto said.

Calls to Simpson attorneys Yale Galanter and Gabriel Grasso were not immediately returned Thursday.

Simpson posted bond and was released from jail around 11 p.m. PST Wednesday, hours after Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass found the graying football star violated terms of an order barring him from contacting co-defendants when he left a profanity-laced telephone message with his bail bondsman in November to pass along to Clarence "C.J." Stewart.

When Scotto talked to Simpson the night before the bail revocation hearing, "He said, 'Pray for me.' That's a first. He was really nervous she wasn't going to let him out."

Glass doubled Simpson's bond to $250,000, and required him to post a 15 percent premium, or $37,500, in cash before he could be released. Galanter promised Simpson also would put up his home as collateral after the judge learned that Simpson had paid nothing toward his earlier bail.

"There's no 'get out of jail free card' today," the judge said.

Simpson and two other men face trial April 7 on 12 charges, including felony kidnapping and armed robbery charges in the gunpoint holdup of two sports memorabilia dealers in September. An armed robbery conviction carries mandatory prison time. A kidnapping conviction could bring a life sentence with the possibility of parole.

Glass found Simpson through "arrogance or ignorance or both" violated terms of the order.

"I don't know Mr. Simpson what the heck you were thinking – or maybe that's the problem - you weren't," Glass said.

In the message, Simpson asks bondsman Miguel Pereira to tell co-defendant Stewart how frustrated Simpson was about testimony during a preliminary hearing several days earlier.

"I just want, want C.J. to know that ... I'm tired of this (expletive)," Simpson was quoted as saying. "Fed up with (expletives) changing what they told me. All right?"

Galanter on Wednesday denied the call was an effort by Simpson to contact Stewart. But in court, he did not contest the issue.

He blamed Pereira, of You Ring We Spring in North Las Vegas, for turning the message over to the district attorney.

Pereira fired back later Wednesday and said he also gave prosecutors audio recordings of conversations he had with Simpson last Friday while escorting Simpson to jail in Las Vegas.

The recordings contain "self admissions to things that were committed," Pereira told The Associated Press late Wednesday. He said he could not provide details with an investigation pending.

A spokesman for Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined comment.

Galanter denied that Simpson made self-incriminatory statements, and said defense lawyers knew Pereira was recording Simpson.

"I think the tapes will speak for themselves," Galanter said.

Simpson's frustration about the preliminary hearing stemmed from accounts by two alleged victims, a go-between who arranged the meeting with them, and three former co-defendants who accepted plea deals in return for their testimony against Simpson.

They accused Simpson of leading the group who burst into a hotel room and allegedly robbed the two memorabilia dealers peddling collectibles associated with Simpson, including the suit he wore the day he was acquitted in the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.


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