LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Former Clark County District Attorney David Roger spoke with FOX5 about his experience prosecuting O.J. Simpson in Las Vegas.

Thursday morning, the football star and former actor’s family announced that he passed at age 76 after a long battle with prostate cancer on Wednesday, April 10.

Simpson was acquitted in the June 1994 knife slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles. A decade later, Simpson led five men he barely knew into a confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

A jury would later convict Simpson of armed robbery and other felonies. Imprisoned at 61, he served nine years in a remote Nevada prison before being paroled in October 2017.

David Roger served as DA from 2003 to 2012 and was involved in prosecuting Simpson’s armed robbery case.

Roger told FOX5 that he remembers having a lot of confidence going into the case because of the large amount of evidence his team had gathered. The evidence included audio of Simpson planning the robbery, audio of the robbery, and video of Simpson going to and leaving the room with the memorabilia. Roger also had audio of Simpson after the robbery, discussing with co-conspirators about hiding their guns.

The day of Simpson’s sentencing, Roger remembered watching Simpson walk in to the courtroom and claimed he “appeared intoxicated.”

“I remember watching him take his watch off and his wallet out, and hand it to his sister who was sitting in the front row,” Roger said. “I remember thinking to myself, O.J. knows it’s going to be guilty.”

While many saw Simpson’s conviction in Las Vegas as some sort of revenge for his acquittal in California, Rogers maintained that it was just business.

“It was never personal with O.J., he came to Las Vegas and committed a robbery. He had the ability to plead guilty and get a shorter sentence, he chose to take the case to trial,” he said. “It was never personal between Mr. Simpson or myself… I had talked to him after he was paroled, and there were just no hard feelings.”

Roger also noted that several unique factors were at play during the trial, other than Simpson’s high-profile status and the media frenzy around him. “It took us 13 days to try to the case, it took the jury 13 hours to convict, and his conviction was exactly 13 years to the day from his acquittal in California.”

He added, “A lot of people believe in karma, and the number 13 wasn’t very lucky for O.J. Simpson.”

After he was paroled, Simpson moved into the Summerlin area, and Roger says he knew he needed to have a conversation with him.

“When he was up for parole, I did not go speak at his parole hearing. He had done nine years, which is more than most people convicted of robbery had done, and I figured he’d be paroled to Florida and I’d never see him again. And then, lo and behold, I lived in Summerlin, and he lived in Summerlin.”

One day, at Red Rock County Club, Roger finally ran into Simpson.

“I went up to him and I said, ‘O.J., you have too many golf clubs in your bag,’ and he looked at me and he says, ‘I know you from someplace.’ I said, ‘Yeah, we spent a lot of time together, O.J.’,” Roger said.

Once he finally recognized him, Simpson promised Roger that he was “walking the straight and narrow” and complying with his parole officer. Roger says they also discussed family and Simpson’s future before “shaking hands and parting ways.”

“About 15 minutes later, I’m down at the driving range, and he’s down there as well. I hear him from a distance say, ‘Hey, Dave! Don’t prosecute me for what I’m about to do.’,” Roger shared. “I looked at him and the guy standing next to him says, ‘Yeah, O.J. says he’s going to kill us on the golf course.’ I was stumped, I didn’t know what to say.”

Simpson’s family announced on Thursday morning that Simpson had died after a long battle with cancer.


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