For years now, many people have speculated that OJ Simpson’s 33-year-sentence for botched robbery was retribution for his acquittal of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Tonight, a special episode of 20/20 will investigate the robbery, just days before Simpson’s parole hearing is slated to begin.
One of the focuses of tonight’s episode will be Michael McClinton, one of Simpson’s accomplices the night he stole memorabilia from Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardlsey while attending a Las Vegas wedding.
Read on to learn more about Michael McClinton.
1. He Fulfilled a Plea Agreement to Testify in Exchange for Lesser Charges
In 2008, McClinton agreed to testify in OJ’s case in exchange for lesser charges, and was sentenced up to eight years probation. According to CBS, he faced up to 11 years in prison because of his involvement in the incident.
Simpson, meanwhile, received 33 years in prison with 10 counts– he was transferred to a Nevada state prison the day after sentencing. Clarence “C.J.” Stewart was dealt 7.5 to 27 years.
After the trial, Walter Alexander, another one of the accomplices, told media he felt “relieved”, while Charles Cashmore said that he felt “reborn”. McClinton left the courthouse quickly and was unable to be reached for comment.
2. He Received the Harshest Sentence of the Four Cooperating Witnesses
The Las Vegas Sun writes that McClinton received the harshest sentence of the four cooperating witnesses– 18-84 months suspended sentence with up to eight years probation. He received two concurrent terms– 12 to 48 months and 24 to 84 months, after pleading to robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, writes the outlet.
At the time, a CBS article about the sentencing quoted Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass as saying to Simpson’s accomplices, “I think one of you expressed today that if Mr. Simpson wanted something done and wanted you to do something, he asked and you did it,” the judge said. “How stupid. But also criminal. You all broke the law and now you’re all paying for it … because you’re all convicted felons now.”
3. He Says OJ Told Him to ‘Look Menacing’ During the Raid
In trial, Simpson said that he and his accomplices were merely recovering personal items that had been stolen from him years prior. He told police that guns weren’t involved in the incident– McClinton, however, was proven to have used a .45-caliber Ruger during the raid.
In court, McClinton testified that Simpson told him to bring the gun, “some heat”, and to look “menacing” on the way to the hotel room. He admitted to brandishing the weapon in an encounter with Fromong.
McClinton is also known for recording Simpson after the raid. On the tape, Simpson can be heard asking McClinton if he pulled out “the piece” in the hallway. Jurors were reported by the LA Times as saying that McClinton’s tape was one of the prosecution’s strongest pieces of evidence.
4. A Warrant From McClinton’s Home Led to Two Loaded and Unlocked Firearms
When he took the stand in trial, LVPD CSI crime scene analyst William Speas testified that he got a search warrant for McClinton’s North Las Vegas home. Inside the house, he found two loaded and unlocked firearms– a .22 Beretta and a .45 Ruger. Both weapons were used in the raid– one by McClinton, and the other by Alexander. Speas also said he found extra rounds of ammunition in McClinton’s bedroom dresser.
The guns, ammunition, and holsters found in McClinton’s house were all used in trial as evidence.
5. The Victim Was Escorted out of the Courtroom During His Trial
After the judge delivered McClinton’s sentence, Fromong exclaimed, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” He was ordered out of the courtroom by the judge, and escorted out of the courthouse.