Co-defendant to plea in Simpson case


LAS VEGAS -- A co-defendant in the O.J. Simpson armed robbery case is taking a plea deal and will testify that guns were involved in the theft of sports collectibles from two memorabilia dealers, the man’s lawyer said Friday.

Charles Cashmore, 40, of Las Vegas, intends to plead guilty Monday to being an accessory to robbery, a felony that could get him up to five years in prison, Cashmore’s lawyer, Edward Miley told The Associated Press.

“He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Miley said of Cashmore, a journeyman laborer, bartender and disc jockey.

A court clerk confirmed that a hearing is scheduled at 7:30 a.m. Monday before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure Jr.

Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined comment.

Simpson and five others, including Cashmore, are charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, assault, burglary and conspiracy in the Sept. 13 encounter in a Las Vegas casino hotel room arranged by a go-between, Thomas Riccio, between Simpson and memorabilia collectors Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong.

Simpson also faces a felony charge of coercion, alleging that he took a cell phone from Fromong.

Cashmore is the only defendant scheduled to appear Monday, a court official said.

Simpson and the others -- Walter Alexander, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, Michael McClinton, and Charles Ehrlich -- are due for a preliminary hearing Nov. 8-9 at which Bonaventure will decide whether there is enough evidence to bind the case over for trial in state court.

Simpson has said he wanted to retrieve personal items that belonged to him, and his lawyers have maintained that no guns were used.

But Miley said Cashmore will testify if asked at the preliminary hearing that Alexander and McClinton, who entered the room with Simpson, were armed. Miley said Cashmore was not armed during the alleged robbery.

“The only people with guns that he knew of were Alexander and McClinton,” Miley said, adding that Cashmore’s crime was failing to immediately go to police and turn over the items he carried out of the room.

Cashmore surrendered to authorities six days later and turned over the items, after police released images from hotel security videotapes showing him carrying a box from the room.

Lawyers for Simpson, McClinton and most of the others did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Alexander’s lawyer, Robert Dennis Rentzer, declined to say whether Alexander had a gun in the room.

“I owe the district attorney an answer to that question before the press,” he said. Rentzer said he was scheduled to meet with Roger on Monday, but he expressed doubt Cashmore could say Alexander was armed.

“How can he put a gun in the possession of someone who didn’t have a gun out?” Rentzer said.

Miley said Cashmore met Simpson and most of the others in the group for the first time minutes before the alleged robbery.

“O.J. says, ‘Hey I’ve got to move some stuff, can you help?”’ Miley said.