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Memorabilia dealer testifies in O.J. trial

September 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
California collectibles broker Thomas Riccio testified as prosecutors played audio recordings he made of the alleged robbery."At some point I am going to say enough and let the jury ask questions," Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass declared. "We've beaten this horse to death. I think we all get the point and I'm going to ask you both to sit down."

It was a long afternoon with Thomas Riccio on the stand. One attorney calls Riccio "the crème de la crème" of witnesses. Riccio is the man who told Simpson about a memorabilia dealer trying to sell Simpson's stolen property. Riccio allegedly helped O.J. set up the so-called "sting operation" at the Palace Station Hotel last year.

"We even had discussions of having it on camera. May be even have Entertainment Tonight there or something when we bust these people selling the stolen items," said Riccio.

Riccio says it all started with a text message sent by a man named Alfred Beardsley.

"He told me that he saw me on TV on the 'Anna Nicole Diaries' and that he had something that would blow the 'Anna Nicole Diaries.' He told me that they were O.J. Simpson's personal items. It wasn't until the second call that he just came out and said it was stolen from O.J.'s room," said Riccio. "He said, 'Do you still have contact with O.J?' I said, 'No not right now.' Then he told me not to call O.J. up because this stuff was stolen from his trophy room. Then I called O.J. up."

But then O.J. Simpson's verdict in the civil trial came up. The trial in which he was found liable in the double murder case and ordered to pay more than $30 million. Riccio says that verdict was the reason this deal was to be done in Las Vegas.

"Later on he said he talked to his lawyers and it wasn't a good idea to do it with the cameras. And he could not do it in California because they might of taken the stuff away over there. He wanted to keep the stuff," said Riccio.

"Who might take the stuff away?" asked Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Owens.

"I think he mentioned the Goldman family," said Riccio.

The defense will have their chance to cross-examine Riccio on Friday. So he could be on the stand for quite some time.

 

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