The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 14, 2013

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 the court. "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 prosecutor H. Leon Simon, Grasso acknowledged the trial judge, Jackie Glass, specifically asked Simpson if he wanted to testify.

"O.J. did say he did not want to testify," said Simon, Clark County's chief deputy district attorney.

"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 his successful representation of the former Hall of Fame football player in a road rage case after Simpson moved to Florida following his 1995 acquittal on murder charges in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend.

Simpson was acquitted of all the road rage charges.

Galanter, the Florida lawyer who is the focus of Simpson's motion claiming ineffective assistance of counsel has declined to comment until he takes the stand Friday.

Grasso, a prominent Las Vegas criminal lawyer who signed on to help his old friend, Galanter, with Simpson's defense on robbery and kidnap charges, ended two days on the witness stand 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?

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