Jury selection to begin in OJ Simpson robbery case

LAS VEGAS - Nearly a year after O.J. Simpson walked into a casino hotel room intent on reclaiming some sports memorobilia, lawyers in his robbery-kidnapping trial are finally set to begin picking a jury.

What figures to be a lengthy jury selection is scheduled to start Monday morning in a Nevada court for the fallen NFL star, actor and advertising pitchman, and his remaining co-defendant, Clarence "C.J" Stewart, a 54-year-old golfing buddy from North Las Vegas.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to 12 charges stemming from a heated encounter last September with two sports collectibles dealers peddling Simpson memorabilia at a Las Vegas hotel-casino.

Simpson said last fall that he put his faith in the jury system and was confident of an acquittal — a conviction could put him away for life.

"If I have any disappointment it's that I wish a jury was here," Simpson said in November, after a contentious four-day preliminary hearing in which prosecution witnesses were cast as opportunists, pimps, con artists and crooks out to make a buck off him.