Witness in O.J. Simpson Case Accuses Alleged Victim of Threats

By: Ken Ritter AP
By: Ken Ritter AP

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A key witness in the O.J. Simpson armed robbery
case has accused one of the alleged victims of harassing and threatening him, his business and his family.

Collectibles broker Thomas Riccio filed a Los Angeles police complaint accusing memorabilia dealer Alfred Beardsley of "criminal threats" by telephone and text message, Riccio's lawyer said Wednesday.

A clerk in the LAPD records unit confirmed that a report was taken Monday, but said she could not provide details.

Riccio, 45, of Los Angeles, said he could not comment because he has a contract for a tell-all book, titled "Busted," being released next week about the alleged heist.

Riccio's lawyer, Stanley Lieber of Woodland Hills, Calif., said Beardsley telephoned Riccio in recent weeks with threats to "boil the family cat," although Riccio doesn't have a cat, and with threats to harm Riccio, booksellers and Riccio's book publisher.

"He also said, 'If you think what happened to Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman was bad, wait until you see what happens to your family,"' Lieber said, an apparent reference to the slayings that led to Simpson's acquittal in 1995 on murder charges.

Beardsley and his lawyer, Jack Neil Swickard of Newport Beach, Calif., did not immediately respond to messages Wednesday.

Beardsley, 47, of Burbank, Calif., filed a civil lawsuit Feb. 26 in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Calif., claiming he was set up and defrauded by Riccio, a collectibles broker who arranged the ill-fated meeting with Simpson last Sept. 13 in Las Vegas.

Riccio has denied the allegations and promised to countersue Beardsley for allegedly defrauding Riccio during a 2004 business
encounter.

Lieber said the harassment allegations will be part of an answer and cross-complaint he plans to file next week in the Beardsley lawsuit.

Simpson and two co-defendants, Clarence "C.J." Stewart and Charles Ehrlich, are due to stand trial Sept. 8 in Las Vegas on charges they went to a hotel room at the Palace Station casino and seized items at gunpoint from Beardsley and memorabilia broker Bruce Fromong.

Each has pleaded not guilty. Simpson has maintained that no guns were used and that he only wanted to retrieve items that he said were stolen from him.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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