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O.J. Simpson not guilty of 'road rage'

O.J. Simpson reacts to the jury's not guilty verdict in his "road rage" trial.  

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson was found not guilty Wednesday on charges stemming from a traffic altercation with another motorist in December 2000.

A four-man, two-woman jury returned the verdict in Dade County Circuit Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Simpson had been charged with misdemeanor first-degree battery and theft from an occupied automobile, a felony, for allegedly grabbing the glasses off a man who had honked at him for driving through an intersection in front of him.

If convicted, Simpson could have faced up to 16 years in prison on the two charges.

After the verdict was read, Simpson turned to the jury and put his hand over his heart in an expression of thanks.

According to the police report on the December 4 incident, Simpson drove after Jeffrey Pattinson, who honked at him, and forced Pattinson to stop his car. The incident happened in the Miami suburb of Kendall.

Pattinson told police Simpson got out of his Lincoln Navigator, shouting, "So, I blew the stop sign. What are you going to do, kill me and my kids?"

Simpson then reached through the open car window and grabbed the glasses off Pattinson's face, Pattinson said, according to the report.

Pattinson said he heard a young girl's voice from inside vehicle shouting "No, Daddy, no." Simpson then turned and drove off, he said.

But in a news conference back in February, Simpson said there was no "road rage" on his part.

"Never in my life have I chased a guy in a car, put on high beams, blow the horn, to me, from what I gather, that's part of what road rage is about, and I don't think anybody has alleged that I went after anybody in a car," he said.

After one of the most sensational trials in American history, the former football star was acquitted of murder charges in the brutal 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, who were found stabbed to death outside her Los Angeles home.

He was later found liable for their deaths in a civil trial and was ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages. Simpson moved to the Miami area last year.



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