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Ousted O.J. juror: 'I think he was guilty the first time'

  • Story Highlights
  • Jury selection continues for second day at O.J. Simpson robbery trial
  • Jury of 12 and six alternates will be chosen from final 40
  • Judge has said she would like testimony to begin next week
  • Simpson accused of memorabilia heist in Las Vegas hotel room
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From Paul Vercammen
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LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- Potential jurors in O.J. Simpson's robbery and kidnapping trial were under the microscope Tuesday as jury selection continued, with at least one saying she believed that the former professional football player was guilty of murder, despite his acquittal in a 1995 trial.

Judge Jackie Glass dismissed a prospective juror who said O.J. Simpson "got away with murder."

"I felt he got away with murder," the woman told Judge Jackie Glass, saying she doubted she could keep her personal feelings out of the case. "I think he was guilty the first time."

The woman was dismissed.

In all, 40 prospective jurors are needed to pass the "voir dire," or questioning, process before challenges from lawyers on each side reduce their numbers to 12 jurors and six alternates. As of Tuesday evening, 12 had done so: 10 women and two men. One of the women is African-American.

The high-profile case started with 500 prospective jurors. Based on their answers to questionnaires, 252 were rejected, leaving 248 in the jury pool. On Monday, Glass called in 86 and excused 14, most of them for medical reasons.

The judge has said her goal is to start testimony next week.

Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman after a highly publicized trial in the mid-1990s. The specter of that case was continually raised during juror questioning Tuesday. See O.J.'s long legal drama »

"I had a roommate who paid attention to the car chase, the glove, [prosecutor] Marcia [Clark]'s hairdo," one woman said, prompting chuckles.

Defense attorneys, however, are attempting to keep the focus on the current case, which comes nearly a year after Simpson and five other men are said to have stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. Prosecutors say that at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed a pair sports memorabilia dealers.

If convicted on all counts, Simpson faces a sentence of up to life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty and has told CNN he was trying to get his property back.

The incident occurred September 13 at the Palace Station Hotel, just off the Las Vegas Strip. Two sports memorabilia dealers -- Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley -- were in the room, expecting to meet a wealthy collector who wanted to buy Simpson memorabilia. Instead, Fromong said, Simpson and several other men barged in and held him at gunpoint.

On Tuesday, another potential juror sparked laughter in the courtroom when she told the court Simpson used to sit in front of her at San Francisco 49ers football games, "and we were both not that old."

The games were probably in the late 1960s, the woman said, adding that she would not let that influence her ability to be fair. Video Watch the mood in court »

Simpson, wearing a black coat, gray slacks and a white shirt, at times donned reading glasses to review what appeared to be notes.

Four of Simpson's five original co-defendants have entered plea deals with prosecutors and agreed to testify against Simpson. One testified in a pre-trial hearing that "O.J. Simpson wanted me to have a weapon." Another testified that Simpson "wanted me to help him acquire some guns."

Some legal experts say the prosecution faces problems: One victim says he believes that Simpson is innocent, and three of four original co-defendants who plan to testify against Simpson have criminal records.


Later Tuesday, Glass had marshals bring another 21 jurors in for possible questioning. Shortly afterward, she called a recess.

During the recess, Simpson looked at bail bondsman Jasen Reasbeck, who has sat through the jury selection process, and said, "you have the patience of Job."

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