O.J. Simpson Shakes Hands With Alleged Robbery Victim in Courthouse Hallway

Published September 25, 2008

| Associated Press

O.J. Simpson met in the courthouse hallway Thursday with one of the memorabilia dealers he is accused of robbing, and the two men said they were willing to let bygones be bygones.

"It was the moment, that's all it was, one bad moment," Simpson said after smiling, chatting and shaking hands with Bruce Fromong, who was the first person to testify against the former football star in the ongoing armed robbery-kidnapping trial.

"It was a set of events that happened and things just rolled and everything just happened," Fromong said of the Sept. 13, 2007, hotel room confrontation in Las Vegas.

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Fromong and his wife, Lynette, said they were at the courthouse to watch the trial, which resumed Thursday with Simpson lawyer Gabriel Grasso cross-examining Charles Cashmore, a man who played a small role in the alleged robbery but testified that he saw two guns in the room.

After Bruce Fromong met with prosecutor Chris Owens and a Clark County district attorney's office investigator, the Fromongs left the courtroom.

Judge Jackie Glass has prohibited defendants and witnesses from contacting each other, invoking a Las Vegas justice of the peace's earlier ban on such communication, even by "carrier pigeon."

Fromong told The Associated Press in the hallway that he had been released as a witness.

Simpson and Fromong had a long business and personal relationship before the alleged robbery, and Simpson is heard on audio recordings secretly made of the confrontation expressing surprise to find Fromong in the room.

Simpson and Fromong had a long business and personal relationship before the alleged robbery, and Simpson is heard on audio recordings secretly made of the confrontation expressing surprise to find Fromong in the room.

The jury has heard from several witnesses that a gun was displayed, orders were barked, and photos, ties and footballs were swept up off a bed and hauled away.

The nine women and three men must decide whether Simpson knew guns were in the room, and whether the confrontation was a criminal scheme or an effort by Simpson to retrieve stolen family photos, heirlooms and mementos.

Cashmore, 41, a journeyman laborer, bartender and disc jockey, knew co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart for about five years, but never before met Simpson or the other men who ended up together in the hotel room.

Cashmore testified Wednesday that he was invited to help Simpson move some items, stood in the bathroom doorway during most of the six-minute confrontation, and carried two boxes and a pillow case full of items away from the Palace Station casino hotel.

Cashmore, a native of Billings, Mont., originally faced the same charges as Simpson, Stewart and former co-defendants Michael McClinton, Charles Ehrlich and Walter Alexander. He could receive probation or up to five years in prison.

Simpson and Stewart have pleaded not guilty to 12 charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery, coercion and assault with a deadly weapon. They face up to life with possibility of parole if convicted of kidnapping, the most serious charge.

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/09/25/oj-simpson-shakes-hands-with-alleged-robbery-victim-in-courthouse-hallway