O.J. Simpson appeals robbery, kidnapping conviction

LOS ANGELES Tue May 26, 2009 10:12pm EDT

O.J. Simpson listens as District Court Judge Jackie Glass (not in photo) reads his sentence at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Nevada December 5, 2008. REUTERS/Issac Brekken/Pool

O.J. Simpson listens as District Court Judge Jackie Glass (not in photo) reads his sentence at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Nevada December 5, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Issac Brekken/Pool

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - O.J. Simpson, the former football star acquitted of killing his ex-wife after a sensational trial, asked the Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday to throw out his armed robbery and kidnapping conviction.

Simpson, who was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison in December, said in his appeal that he was denied a fair trial through a series of errors judicial misconduct, insufficient evidence and a lack of racial diversity on the jury.

Simpson, 61, was found guilty of robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas in October.

The Las Vegas case stemmed from a bungled attempt by Simpson to recover memorabilia of his storied sports career and murder trial from a pair of dealers in a room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino.

Simpson's defense team argued during the trial that he was only trying to retrieve his own stolen property and that he didn't know an accomplice had brought a gun to the hotel room.

The star athlete-turned-actor was tried in the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Simpson was acquitted after a yearlong trial that was carried live gavel-to-gavel on U.S. television and transfixed much of the world.

In the Vegas appeal, his lawyers said that Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass failed to properly prevent the robbery and kidnapping trial from being tainted by Simpson's infamy from the murders or thoroughly screen the jury.

Prosecutors told the Los Angeles Times they expected to prevail.

"While the appeal is certainly his constitutional right, I am confident the guilty verdict from the Clark County court will stand," said Clark County District Attorney David Roger.

"Judge Jackie Glass and the jury did a great job with this trial, during which the jurors saw Mr. Simpson for the criminal that he is," Roger told the Times.

Simpson, who is serving his sentence at Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada, will be eligible for parole in 2017.

(Editing by Doina Chiacu)