Our New "D-Day"? OJ to be Sentenced Today!
LAS VEGAS - If O.J. Simpson is looking for a break from the Nevada judge who will sentence him for kidnapping and armed robbery, he may be in the wrong courtroom.
Judge Jackie Glass is known for giving severe sentences and tongue-lashings to high-profile defendants, and she has blasted Simpson before.
"I think she's one of the tougher sentencing judges," said attorney Michael Cristalli, who has represented clients in front of Glass. "I don't think there's much contention about that."
On Friday, Glass will sentence Simpson and a golfing buddy on 12 criminal charges that arose from a hotel-room confrontation with two sports-memorabilia dealers who were peddling items from Simpson's glory days.
Berated Simpson from the bench
Glass berated the former football star from the bench in January, accusing him of "arrogance or ignorance or both," and doubling his bail to $250,000 after he violated terms of his release.
The last high-profile defendants Glass sentenced were former bodybuilding champion Craig Titus and his wife, Kelly Ryan. Titus admitted killing the couple's live-in personal assistant, and both pleaded guilty to burning the woman's body.
"Mr. Titus came into this process a big man — muscles, famous, in control," Glass said in August as she sentenced Titus to 21 to 55 years. "He's not anything anymore."
Titus' lawyer, Marc Saggese, complained that Glass "blindsided" him by adding four years to an agreed-upon minimum of 17 years. Glass gave Ryan six to 26 years for lesser charges.
Immediately after Simpson and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart were convicted in October, Glass had them both slapped in handcuffs and hauled off to jail. At a later hearing, she refused to allow them to appear in street clothes. They attended in shackles and jail garb instead.
Convictions carry mandatory time
Their convictions carry mandatory prison time, but judges in Nevada have broad discretion in determining whether to run sentences consecutively or at the same time.
Glass could put the 61-year-old Simpson and Stewart in prison for the rest of their lives. She also could follow a recommendation from the state parole agency calling for at least 18 years.
Or she could accept defense arguments that neither man has a criminal record and each should receive the minimum six years.
Stewart, a 54-year-old mortgage broker, said this week that he was mentoring younger jail inmates and preparing himself for "a lot of time" in prison.
Attorneys for Simpson said they were bracing for the worst.
"We're hoping the judge follows our recommendations," said Gabriel Grasso, a Simpson lawyer. "However, we're prepared for longer."
Glass, who was elected as a state judge in 2002, is prohibited by judicial rules from discussing the case. But the judge, who presided over 13 days of testimony at Simpson's trial, is anything but a courtroom wallflower.
"As you can see, I'm not stodgy and stuffy," she told the jury. "I am probably more animated than what you expect of a judge. That's not to say I don't take this seriously."