Published May 23, 2008
LAS VEGAS – Court officials and lawyers preparing for O.J. Simpson's armed robbery trial said Thursday that lengthy questionnaires will be given to a jury pool that could number 400 or more.
The judge told prosecutors and lawyers for the former football star and two co-defendants that she plans to summon prospective jurors and have them start filling out forms at least two weeks before trial starts Sept. 8.
Simpson, Charles Ehrlich and Clarence "C.J." Stewart face kidnapping and other charges after allegedly robbing sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room in September.
The questionnaires haven't been made public but will include at least 115 questions.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers said they disagree over at least three questions, and Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass scheduled arguments during a June 20 hearing on pretrial motions.
"The questionnaire is not about arguing the case," Simpson defense lawyer Gabriel Grasso said outside court. "It's basically about asking certain questions to weed out jurors who have preconceived ideas."
Defense lawyers alleged that they haven't received all available pretrial files and documents from prosecutors, and Glass instructed District Attorney David Roger and prosecutor Chris Owens to provide materials as soon as possible.
"They have all the documents that we have," Owens said, adding that new materials were being turned over as they came in.
Ehrlich's lawyer John Moran said he also has filed documents asking Glass to reconsider her decision to try Simpson, Ehrlich and Stewart together.
Simpson has maintained that no guns were used during the hotel room confrontation and that he only wanted to retrieve personal items that he said were stolen from him.
A kidnapping conviction carries the possibility of life in prison with the possibility of parole. A robbery conviction would mean mandatory prison time.