Simpson’s Co-defendant Walks Free From Prison

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January 5, 2011 | 2:55pm EST

The co-defendant in former American footballer O.J. Simpson’s kidnap and armed robbery case has been freed from prison after striking a plea deal with prosecutors.
The retired sportsman-turned-actor is currently serving a 15 year sentence in Nevada following his December 2008 conviction for masterminding a heist on two sports memorabilia dealers’ Las Vegas hotel room in September 2007.

Simpson’s lawyers have been attempting to appeal the ruling since 2009, but have so far had their efforts dismissed by a judge.

However, co-defendant Clarence Stewart successfully had his conviction overturned by Nevada Supreme Court authorities in October after ruling he had been denied a fair trial by trying him alongside Simpson.

He entered a new plea in a Clark County court on Tuesday, when he conceded prosecutors had enough evidence to prove a case against him at a trial, although he did not admit his guilt.

The 56 year old was subsequently released from prison and placed on house arrest for the next nine months, according to Clark County District Attorney David Roger.

The plea deal will be made official after examination by a Las Vegas judge and Stewart will face further time behind bars if he violates the terms of his probation.

And Roger made clear a similar offer will not be made to Simpson – because he rejected a plea deal during the trial and he has not had his conviction overturned.

Roger says, “He rolled the dice in Las Vegas and lost.”

And Stewart is keen to put the whole legal mess behind him once and for all.

His attorney, Brent Bryson, says, “The reason he took this deal is, its an opportunity to put this thing behind him. There’s some finalisation and he can move on with his life at this point.”