Claiming O.J. Simpson was dealt an injustice, the brother of the football star's former girlfriend is soliciting money to appeal Simpson's conviction and prison sentence on kidnapping and armed robbery charges.
Barrett Prody, 35, has created a nonprofit corporation and an
Internet Web site, the Society Against Legal Injustice Inc., to
raise money for Simpson.
"I hope to help out someone who has gotten to be a good
friend," Prody said by telephone from his home in Fargo, N.D. "I
want to leverage his name in an effort to right an injustice out
there in Las Vegas."
But Simpson lawyers Yale Galanter in Miami and Gabriel Grasso in
Las Vegas said they don't think the fund is needed. Galanter said
Simpson's trial fees and costs were fully paid and his appellate
fees and costs were "basically paid." He declined to provide
amounts, citing attorney-client confidentiality.
"It seems that Barrett has the best of intentions," Galanter
said. "But whatever he's doing is on a separate track with what
The lawyers said they expected to file an appeal in the next six
weeks with the Nevada Supreme Court over Simpson's conviction for
the armed robbery and kidnapping of two sports memorabilia dealers
in a Las Vegas casino hotel room.
Simpson's daughter, Arnelle Simpson, and a Simpson friend, Tom
Scotto, said they support Prody's effort and that they expected any
money Prody raises would help pay the 61-year-old former football
star and television actor's legal bills.
"It's legit," Arnelle Simpson said. "It was established and
created for my dad. Of course I approve of it and will support
Scotto said he also agreed to be a board member of the Society
Against Legal Injustice.
Prody's younger sister, Christine Prody, was Simpson's
girlfriend for more than a decade after the NFL Hall of Famer was
acquitted in the 1994 slaying of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson,
and her friend, Ron Goldman, in Los Angeles. But Christine Prody
and Simpson are no longer a couple, Simpson's daughter and friends
Simpson was found liable for the deaths in a Los Angeles civil
lawsuit and was ordered to pay $33.5 million in compensatory and
punitive damages to the Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson estates.
Barrett Prody said his 33-year-old sister, who lives in Fergus
Falls, Minn., had no connection with the Web fundraising effort.
Barrett Prody, who runs an automobile marketing company in North
Dakota, said he talks several times a week by telephone with
Simpson, who is serving nine to 33 years at Lovelock State Prison
in northern Nevada after being convicted of leading five other men
into a Las Vegas hotel room to retrieve what he said were personal
items and family mementos from two sports collectibles dealers.
Simpson and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart were
convicted on all 12 charges, and Stewart was sentenced to 7½ years
to 27 years. The four other men who accompanied Simpson were
sentenced to probation after they took plea deals and testified for
Prody's Web site blames the hotel room confrontation on Thomas
Riccio, the memorabilia dealer who arranged the meeting, and
criticizes prosecutors and Judge Jackie Glass for their handling of
Prody estimated he spent about $6,000 filing incorporation
papers in North Dakota and applying to the Internal Revenue Service
for tax-exempt status.
He said he did not intend to take a salary from donations, at
least at the start, and intended to use any money not needed for
Simpson's case to fund other causes he deemed unjust.