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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

O.J. Simpson Held Without Bail on Robbery Charges

Aired September 17, 2007 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: We have got an exclusive tonight with the judge who denied O.J. Simpson bail.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Here we go, busted again, but, this time, will it stick?

From the TMZ tape in the hotel room, to the Las Vegas jail, what was he really after? And was it worth risking his freedom?

Time was, most whites thought he was guilty. Most blacks thought he wasn't. What about now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was his possessions, so I think I would have did the same thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not supposed to steal. So, don't steal, O.J.

SANCHEZ: In Iraq, incredible video, the intersection of life and death caught on tape.

Is this reporter taking his job just a little too seriously? This one's weird.

The highlight of the Emmys. Why was she bleeped? You're going to hear what the rest of the country missed, because we're here to bring it OUT IN THE OPEN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

What a story. Tonight, O.J. Simpson -- think about this -- is looking at spending the rest of his life behind bars. We're expecting a lot of important information, some developments during this newscast. We have got a lot of phone calls that we have been making through our staff, including an exclusive interview with the judge who decided that Simpson should remain in a jail cell and in isolation.

We have also got a shot at talking to one of the other suspects, Mr. Alexander in this case. Simpson's accused of, among other things, assaulting and robbing a man in a Las Vegas hotel room at gunpoint, even though he wasn't the one carrying the gun.

Here's what I want you to listen to first, as we start this newscast, because we're going to take you through a whole bevy of stuff. This is a recording that was made in the actual hotel room that was posted on the Web site TMZ.com. So what you're about to hear is the confrontation right at the moment that Simpson and his alleged accomplices entered the room.

Here it is. Go ahead, Ali (ph).

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

O.J. SIMPSON, DEFENDANT: Don't let nobody out this room. (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

Think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and sell it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

SIMPSON: Don't let nobody out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow.

Mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: All right. What's interesting about this -- and we're being joined by a couple of our correspondents.

Do your remember where he was saying right there, O.J. Simpson, don't let anybody out of this room? That's interesting. We are going to be talking a lot about that tonight.

Ted Rowlands, he is at the detention center where Simpson is locked up. Dan Simon, he is going to be joining us from the courthouse.

My thanks to both of you fellows.

Let's start with you, Ted. A lot of viewers are just catching up to this story. You have talked to O.J. Simpson. You have also spoken to the police and the prosecutors.

Reconcile both stories as best you can and tell us what O.J. is actually accused of doing, Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, it starts Thursday night at the Palace Station Hotel. It's sort of an offbeat casino hotel off the Strip.

There was an armed robbery, alleged, that took place there. From O.J. Simpson's standpoint, it wasn't an armed robbery at all. It was him going in to get his stolen stuff. He says that he got wind that people were selling his personal items that were stolen from him years ago on the black market, so he posed as a buyer with some buddies.

They went in and you heard some of the audio of what happened in that hotel room. He admits, told CNN that he did raise his voice, that he was yelling and he was mad, and he took his stuff back, left the room, no incident, no guns, nothing to worry about.

The problem is the other side of the coin here. And that's the one that the police seem to be believing more than O.J. Simpson at this point. And that is from the alleged victims that O.J. Simpson, yes, posed as a buyer. He came barrelling in with five other guys. Two of the guys had guns drawn. They held these guys at gunpoint.

They were thinking they were going to meet a buyer to sell this O.J. Simpson memorabilia to someone interested in that kind of thing. And in fact, it was O.J. and his thugs, they called them, they put them at gunpoint, assaulted one of the men, took all the memorabilia out. They called the cops.

What's murky here is the guys that called the police, the guys that had their stuff stolen were associates of Simpson through the years. And one of them actually turned the next day and sort of reconciled with O.J., but the police have both of their statements. They have two guns. They have made one other arrest.

You mentioned we're going to hopefully talk to that other individual during the show. And they have got O.J. Simpson in jail here. He's facing multiple felony counts and he's being held without bail.

SANCHEZ: All right. Here's the things that I think I'm curious about, a lot of folks at home are probably wondering as well. What's the relationship between these other four or five guys that went into the room and O.J. Simpson? Second question, did O.J. Simpson know that there were two guns at the time they entered the room? Those seem to be extremely salient, don't they?

ROWLANDS: Well, according to O.J. Simpson, he knew these guys. They were associates of his. But he said he didn't know them well. In fact, he said he had never met one of the other guys that was involved in this. He did know the others throughout his life, but he didn't know them real well.

He was tipped off to this by a guy, according to Simpson, named Tom Riccio, about a month ago, saying, hey, they're trying to sell your stuff, O.J. And that's when he said he started to formulate this plan. He talked all about this and basically said that he saw an opportunity here in Vegas to get his stolen stuff back.

SANCHEZ: Dan Simon, let's bring you into the picture, because now we're talking apparently about six different felonies. We could be talking about a long time. And I understand that there's going to be a hearing on Wednesday. What do we expect is going to happen there?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Rick.

Wednesday is when the court system kicks in this for this case. Wednesday morning, O.J. Simpson is going to be brought underneath a tunnel to the courthouse. So he's not going to be exposed to the public, if you will. Security is going to be beefed up, we are told though inside the courthouse.

A couple things are going to happen when he goes into the courtroom. First, he's going to be advised of the various charges. After that, we are told there's going to be a bail hearing. Of course, O.J. Simpson was denied bail but this particular judge will have a hearing. And one of the salient issues here, Rick, is whether or not O.J. Simpson is considered a flight risk. That by and large will determine whether or not he is granted bail -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Interesting question. And Leo Terrell is going to be talking to us in just a little bit. And his argument is that why would they give no bail to O.J. Simpson -- he didn't have the gun -- but they did give bail to Mr. Alexander, who apparently at least according to police was found with a couple of guns in his possession?

SIMON: That is a very good question. You know, one of the operating theories out there is that particular suspect gave a lengthy statement to police where he might have implicated O.J. Simpson. Of course, Simpson is the central character in this case. So, perhaps police were sympathetic to those statements.

We just don't know, of course. O.J. Simpson's defense is going to argue quite vigorously that he gets bail, Rick.

SANCHEZ: And by the way, as far as you know, is O.J. Simpson going to be in court on Wednesday?

SIMON: Yes, we are told that he will be in court. Here's how it works. There has to be a court hearing within 72 hours for a suspect in Las Vegas. It can be handled either by video or in person. This particular judge wants all of her suspects to appear before her in person.

SANCHEZ: Yes, we're going to be talking a lot about that judge, by the way.

All right, Ted Rowlands and Dan Simon both following the story for us there, different venues, they are going to stay hooked up, hopefully. As we have questions as we continue to go through this and flush this out, we will be going back to them to get some of those questions answered.

Well, O.J. Simpson without a doubt sucks up all the space in the room and in this case, he does the same thing, but there are also several other players that are involved in this incident. You just heard our correspondents mention a couple of them. You heard about Mr. Alexander, for example.

Let's break this down for you. Come on with me. I want to see if we can at least set the scene and let you know who some of these people are. All right, Walter Alexander, golf buddy apparently of O.J. Simpson. That's important. We just mentioned this. He was released on bail. Police say did he have a gun, possibly two; they have been confiscated. Police are also looking for four other guys, as you heard, who may have actually gone into the hotel room. Keep that name in mind. That's going to be a big player in this case. Let's go across over here, Jeff, if we can. Thomas Riccio, former business associate of O.J. Simpson, he's the one who tipped off O.J. Simpson apparently that some of the collectors were selling some of his items. That ticked O.J. Simpson off.

He's also the one who made the audiotape you just heard us play for you a little while ago.

Jeff, come on back here. Let's talk about a couple of the other guys. All right, this is Alfred Beardsley. You will be hearing about him. He was going to auction some of the memorabilia. He collected Simpson items for several years. He's the one by the way who called police. A little murky about his story, because he's actually been quoted in some of the research that we have been reading as saying that he doesn't necessarily want to press charges against O.J. Simpson.

One more. Let's talk about now about -- oh, this is Mike Gilbert. That's right. We don't have a picture of him, by the way. Simpson is blaming this guy for taking all his memorabilia, for ending up with it, absconding it, as he says. He was Simpson's licensing agent at one time. He also admits taking Simpson's Heisman Trophy at one time, but then it was returned back to the Goldmans because of a lawsuit, as you might recall.

He says that Simpson owed him money and that's why he had some of his belongings.

Let's continue with this now. Good guest here.

Robert Rentzer is the attorney for Walter Alexander. He's one of the men that we just told you about. Interestingly enough, Alexander is the only guy other than Simpson who's been arrested so far.

Hey, Bob, thanks so much for joining us.

ROBERT RENTZER, ATTORNEY FOR SIMPSON CO-DEFENDANT: Sure. Thank you for asking me.

SANCHEZ: What is your client saying at this point? How was he involved in this thing?

RENTZER: Well, he's not saying at this point, at least not to the media. He has been debriefed by the district attorney, as you already indicated. I don't know where you got the information that he had guns. No guns were recovered from him or at his premises.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Where did the police get the story about having two guns on the scene and one report seeming to indicate that he may have had one of them? True or not?

RENTZER: I don't know what story the police got. I have not heard what my client told the police. I did agree, under a promise of confidentiality, not in terms of the statement, but in terms of the use, that whatever he told the police would not be used against him in any way, shape or form.

And you have asked how come one man is out and one man is in. The arrangement I made with the district attorney which was in good faith was that he would cooperate in terms of speaking with them, but not in terms of testifying. There's been no arrangement made for my client to testify for O.J. or even for himself.

I haven't made the decision whether my client would take the stand.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Then what's your offer? If he's not going to be testifying against O.J., what do you mean by cooperate? Cooperate means what?

RENTZER: All right. Well, we're talking about what has happened thus far. He has cooperated in terms of allowing himself to be debriefed on the basis that nothing he said would be used against him. Now, that in turn resulted in his being released on his own recognizance.

They did arrest him. They did file charges against him and for all intent and purposes, it's the same as his being on bail. If he failed to appear, it would be another crime. So, he is on a leash to the prosecution and to the court. In terms of whether he would take a witness stand, that is something that has to be determined long range. I haven't read the police reports.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: What if the police came to you tomorrow and said, look, if you want your client to get some help from us, he's going to have to talk? Would you have him testify against O.J. Simpson in this case?

RENTZER: The question that you're asking is would I have my client testify at all. And it's premature. I would tell the police, as I'm going to tell you, I can't make that decision because I haven't read the police reports. I haven't heard what my client has told the district attorney. They're supposed to be sending me the recording. I haven't received that yet.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Robert Rentzer, thanks so much for joining us. We certainly appreciate it.

And, by the way, if your client is comfortable, we will certainly give him a fair shake here and we would love to have him on. Is that all right?

RENTZER: I have to congratulate you for being able to cut an attorney off. (CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: Appreciate it, Bob. Robert Rentzer, thanks.

So, how much time can Simpson actually spend behind bars? I want to break it down for you now. Let's go back to the wall, if we can. I'm going to show it to you there.

Talking six felonies now, folks, two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon. Two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. One count of armed burglary. One count of conspiracy to commit burglary. Each robbery count carries two to 30 years. All right. Let's do the math. You ready? Add it all up, that's a possibility of 30 years in prison. Let's do the math on his age. He's 60 years old. He could be in prison until he's 90 years old. Think about that.

Joining us now, criminal defense attorney Jeffrey W. Steinberger. He's in Los Angeles. Former prosecutor Mickey Sherman is here, Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom, both here to talk about this.

Wow. What a turn of events.

Mickey Sherman, let's begin with you. How much trouble is O.J. Simpson possibly in?

MICKEY SHERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He's in trouble, but I don't think he's in as much trouble as everyone makes out to be.

SANCHEZ: Really?

SHERMAN: I really don't.

Don't forget, he stole or ripped off or victimized a bunch of dirtbags, if you will, who had come into possession of his property. These guys either stole it or knew that the property was stolen.

SANCHEZ: Lisa, does that matter? If you think something is yours, do you have the right to -- quote -- "bust into the room" -- I'm quoting one of the guys who was inside the room -- apparently with two guns?

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: Well, first of all, we're assuming facts not in evidence. I don't know how we already know that these guys are dirtbags, as opposed to having bought the memorabilia legally. O.J. has been selling this stuff for years. It's something he's been very interested in.

SANCHEZ: Do you know the answer to that, Mickey? Do you know that these guys stole it?

(CROSSTALK)

SHERMAN: No, but we know that O.J. didn't give it to them. It's his wedding -- it's first wedding video. It's his personal property. BLOOM: Celebrities sell this kind of stuff all the time. And O.J. doesn't have a lot of ways of making a living. He has bought and sold a lot of memorabilia.

And, by the way, to answer your question, no, you cannot of course just bust in. You can engage in self-help. If that's my pad, I can take from you and take it back in a lawful manner. I can't draw a gun and threaten you and tell you you can't leave of course until you do what I say.

SHERMAN: But you're not going to get 30 years for doing it.

BLOOM: That's absurd.

SANCHEZ: Jeffrey Steinberger, how big is the gun issue? Apparently two guns in the room. Simpson is going to say, I didn't know there were guns there. Is that defensible?

JEFFREY W. STEINBERGER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Rick, it doesn't matter whether he has the gun or he didn't have the gun, whether he was in possession of the gun, or whether the other guy had the gun. He's held to have constructive possession of that firearm if he's involved in a conspiracy.

And that's what the prosecutor in Vegas is going to charge him with,. They're going to charge him with conspiracy.

SANCHEZ: So, bottom line is what?

(CROSSTALK)

STEINBERGER: And that everybody's as bad as everybody else.

SANCHEZ: And here's what's interesting about the conspiracy, and I was reading an article last night. Marcia Clark of all people brought this out. She said the fact that he's talked to our Ted Rowlands and other reporters is incriminating. He's basically saying, yes, I was there. Yes, I went to get my stuff.

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM: Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

STEINBERGER: That's correct. That's exactly what he's doing.

SHERMAN: He totally agrees that he entered in the conspiracy. He gave that away in the media.

But the question is did he conspire to commit a crime or to right his wrong and get his stuff back? Because I think, whoever the lawyer that represents him is going to give away that issue. He absolutely planned it.

SANCHEZ: By the way, here's an interesting question about all this.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: And, yes, I will go to you, Mr. Steinberger. In fact, I (r)MD-BO»will start you with this. How much does O.J. Simpson's past have to do with what he's no going through right now? Do you think that the judges in this case considered this? And, by the way, we're going to be talking to one of the judges who didn't give him bail in just a little bit.

STEINBERGER: Everything. Absolutely everything.

SANCHEZ: Really?

STEINBERGER: Look at this media circus you're already starting already.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Yes, but that's us.

(CROSSTALK)

STEINBERGER: I know, but it plays into the courtroom. It plays into the jury. It plays into the panel.

SANCHEZ: Really?

STEINBERGER: It plays into who gets impaneled.

Listen, on this planet, you cannot get an unbiased jury that's going to sit on his case.

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM: That's just absolutely wrong. And I will tell you why. That's wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM: And I will tell you why. In 2001, there was a road rage case in Florida.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Hold on, Mr. Steinberger.

BLOOM: Hold on.

There was a road rage case in Florida. O.J. was accused of multiple felonies. It went to a jury. And guess what? He was acquitted, because a jury looked at the facts. They didn't look at the murder allegations that were at that time about seven years old.

SHERMAN: And it wasn't an all-black jury.

(CROSSTALK)

STEINBERGER: It had nothing to do with a conspiracy. It had nothing to do -- when the DA's case...

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Wait a minute. Let me get in on this.

September 14, under investigation, alleged armed robbery. July 4, report of a fight by a neighbor. March 8 -- I'll tell you what. I will just count them, because we don't have enough time. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven incidents that he's been involved in involving law enforcement since his famous acquittal.

SHERMAN: That is not so unusual.

(CROSSTALK)

SHERMAN: I represent a million people who have a lot more than that.

STEINBERGER: You don't have seven incidents, but you don't have...

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: I haven't called police to my house in the last 10 years.

(CROSSTALK)

SHERMAN: You're the exception. Neither have I.

But I'm telling you, there's a lot of people. The problem is that this is the guy who slipped through the net. And you're right. Everyone in the Western speaking -- English speaking world is ticked off that this guy got through and it is impacting this case enormously.

SANCHEZ: Last word goes to Jeffrey Steinberger, because I hear you out there and we don't want to ignore you.

Go ahead.

STEINBERGER: Rick, this case is like -- this is an impaneled jury. This guy thought he was bulletproof. This guy thought he was invincible. This guy thought he could walk on water. Last night in prison was his wakeup call to a new reality. This is a different O.J. Simpson that's going to walk out tomorrow.

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM: We will see.

SANCHEZ: Jeffrey Steinberger, Mickey Sherman, none other than, and of course Lisa Bloom, we thank you all. We appreciate it. BLOOM: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: In a moment, we're going to be talking to the judge who actually denied Simpson's bail. He's going to be talking to us exclusively, we should say. Is that bragging? I suppose.

Also, does he think that Simpson is a flight risk right now? Remember Al Cowlings? We will be talking about that.

By the way, every night on this newscast, we highlight some of the best videos of the day. Time to do just that. So, let's take a look at this drag race.

This is Brisbane, Australia.

Take a look at this, Mickey.

A driver named Phil Lamattina, he's at the wheel. He is going about 300 miles an hour. Suddenly, his car snaps in two, just flies into the air, bursts into flames. You're not going to believe this, though.

Lisa, you ready for this?

BLOOM: Ready.

SANCHEZ: He walks away from the crash with nothing more than a cut finger. Can you believe that?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... are sending him to jail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really feel that they're still trying to pick on him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: So, do you think O.J. Simpson did it? If you're white, polls tend to suggest you would say absolutely. If you're black, polls tend to suggest you say no. This is one of those gutsy issues that we're going to tackle head on. Does it still hold? We will be looking at that.

Also, we're going to be looking into what was in the hotel room? What was north? What was actually worth risking his freedom for? Dan Lothian has got the answers. He has looked into this whole memorabilia stuff and he will break it down for us.

And then nobody on TV ever defended Simpson more ardently than Leo Terrell. You remember Leo Terrell? Leo Terrell is going to be here live with us talking O.J. Simpson again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: What a story. Welcome back to OUT IN THE OPEN. I'm Rick Sanchez.

With us now exclusively, the judge who denied O.J. Simpson bail. Judge Douglas E. Smith is the chief judge of Las Vegas Township Justice Court. And he's good enough to join us.

Let's just shoot right from the hip here, Judge. Why did you deny him?

JUDGE DOUGLAS E. SMITH, DENIED BAIL TO O.J. SIMPSON: Hi, Rick.

Well, the information I got -- I called our office when I flew into Saint Louis, because we had heard that O.J. was being arrested. He hadn't been. And I told my office to call me as soon as he is. When they called me, there was a scheduled power outage at the jail. But it was planned by the county. And when they called me, they couldn't tell me any information about him. They couldn't give me any information about the judge that was presiding.

So, as chief judge, I made a determination that he was a threat to society and a flight risk.

SANCHEZ: Why do you think he's a flight risk? And, maybe more importantly, why do you think he's a threat to society?

SMITH: Well, just the nature of the crime. All I had were the charges, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, burglary, and conspiracy to commit robbery.

(CROSSTALK)

STEINBERGER: And I felt...

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: I just wanted to get this in. And pardon me for interrupting.

If his name were not O.J. Simpson, if he had not been acquitted of a heinous double murder in the past, if he had not been involved in seven or eight other incidents in the last five or six years, would you have made this same ruling?

SMITH: Yes, I did not consider those factors.

I considered the fact that, in Las Vegas, against a -- we have a strong tourist attraction coming into Las Vegas. So, I determined that the fact that a weapon was used in a crime, or alleged, that it was a serious enough crime that I would hold him without bail if he met the other criteria. That is, is he a flight risk? And I had no information that he had any contacts with Las Vegas.

SANCHEZ: What happens Wednesday? Does his hearing Wednesday -- can your ruling be changed by the other judge? SMITH: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: And could it happen with your blessing? Would you be OK with that?

SMITH: Absolutely.

What I do is a temporary determination. And then what the judge can do then is have a judicial hearing and make a judicial determination. That's what the judiciary is for in the separation of powers is we have to make that call, whether we feel as a judge in our community, is he a flight risk?

SANCHEZ: Judge Doug Smith, talking to us here exclusively, Your Honor, thanks, sir, for coming up and clearing that up for us.

SMITH: You bet.

SANCHEZ: I was curious, and I'm sure many of you have been curious about this, too. What in the world could possibly be so important to O.J. Simpson in that room? What is all this Simpson memorabilia that everyone's been talking about, important enough to maybe risk his own freedom?

Our own Dan Lothian is joining us now with more. He's been looking into this.

Let me start by showing you something because everyone's talking about something that may have been in the room, the suit that he was wearing the day of his acquittal.

Ali, can you put that? Can you put that video up real quick? All right. There's O.J. Simpson. That's the acquittal coming back. He looks like he's about to be as surprised as everybody else.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF: And he had the white shirt.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Apparently, the guy's had this suit in the room. Is that true?

LOTHIAN: Well, O.J. Simpson tells CNN did that he go to the room and one of the items that he wanted to recover was that suit.

SANCHEZ: Right.

LOTHIAN: He tells CNN the suit was not in the room, but certainly that was something that he's trying to get his hands on again.

SANCHEZ: What is the value of this kind of stuff? Is there a market for this stuff?

LOTHIAN: Well, there is a market for any celebrity's material, whether it's clothing or pictures or autographs, whatever it might be.

But we do know that at least one dealer was out there trying to pedal this suit, looking for anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000. That's according to TMZ.com, which first reported that. We heard from one dealer who apparently was saying it could go for even as high as $100,000. You have to throw it out there and start getting people to bid on it before you can get a price.

SANCHEZ: And can I guarantee you something? The value goes up after we do this report and others like it, right?

LOTHIAN: You're right. But what the experts tell us is that the value does go up whenever something bad happens, when someone gets in trouble, but then it will level off again.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

LOTHIAN: So, commit a crime, alleged to have committed a crime, you get a spike. Then it goes back down again.

SANCHEZ: Good stuff.

Dan, thanks for following up on that.

Now this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he stole, then he has got to pay the piper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since it's O.J., they're really happy that they got him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: We are taking it to the streets, as you might imagine. This is a curious question, gutsy issue to really look into. Do you think he did it? See, that used to be very much a black and white question in this nation. How about now? Has it changed?

Then, what about longtime Simpson defender Leo Terrell? Remember him? What a spitball he is, right? Well, he still hasn't wavered. Or has he? He's going to join us right here live.

Then the intersection of life and death in Iraq, tough to watch. We are bringing it OUT IN THE OPEN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Boy, what a beat, huh? I'll tell you, if there's ever been a story that should be taken out to the streets, if there's ever been a story that needs to be brought OUT IN THE OPEN, it's this. The incredible effect of O.J. Simpson on America. He splits the country right down the middle in many cases. If you're Black, you tend to have no problem with his acquittal. That's what the polls showed. If you're White, tends to infuriate you. We took our cameras to the streets to see how people are reacting now after this development.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, he was arrested for armed robbery, but that doesn't mean that he did it. You know, I really feel they still trying to pick on him ever since this happened with Nicole. So any little thing that comes up, they're going to fault him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This whole memorabilia thing is making me question whether or not he actually didn't do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He got to steal his own memorabilia? Is he really that broke?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has this grandiose attitude, you know, that I'm O.J. Simpson regardless of what. You going to steal, you have to pay the piper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, to me, I think they just want to catch him for anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It didn't surprise me that something like this would happen, because he seems to have a very violent temper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would have thought he got away with murder and been left it at that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's about O.J. Simpson...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't give a stuff about O.J.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just heard the preliminary reports. But as of his reputation, I would have to say seems like something he would get away with. Plus, we all know how much money he spent on Johnny Cochran, so he needs a little bit of dough, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not here to judge the man. I just think that he just needs to keep a little bit more lower profile.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I certainly don't think the way he's acting is condonable.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: What a theme, what an issue to talk about. Join me now, civil rights attorney, John Burris who consulted with Simpson's late defense attorney, Johnny Cochran -- great attorney -- during Simpson's 1995 murder trial. Marc Lamont Hill, professor of Urban Education at Temple University, and then none other than attorney and talk show host, Leo Terrell.

Gentlemen, here we go. Leo, I got to start with you. You thought that he didn't do it to begin with. So, now you're presented with this new case, this new evidence and you say what this time?

LEO TERRELL, ATTORNEY AND TALKS SHOW HOST: And I say I'm sick and tired of all the stations bringing up what happened 12 years ago and what's going on right now. Two separate incidents. I had the privilege to talk to the Simpson family today. And I got news for you, there's information that the public does not know. The bottom line is this, there are Americans in this country, unfortunately, White Americans, who still want to go after O.J. Simpson, not for this charge, but what happened 12 years ago. That's called vigilantly justice and we don't do that in this country.

SANCHEZ: All right, well forget about what people are saying and let's just look at what appear to be the facts of the case, as least as presented by these police officers.

(CROSSTALK)

Hold on a minute. They say O.J. Simpson was in a hotel room in the presence of four other people, it wasn't his room, it was somebody else's room and there were two guns present. And O.J. Simpson is heard saying: don't let these guys out. How do you defend that?

TERRELL: OK, I'll tell you exactly, because I know more than you about this.

SANCHEZ: Fine.

TERRELL: Ask the county police department if they found any weapons in O.J. Simpson's hotel room. The answer is no.

SANCHEZ: But it doesn't matter. If one has it, they all have it. That's what the law says.

TERRELL: Hey excuse me, I'll tell you what, you got to prove to me that O.J. Simpson knew those guys had guns when they walked into that hotel room. You don't know that at all. There's no evidence that he knows that. There's no evidence!

SANCHEZ: Marc Lamont -- fine, Leo. Marc Lamont Hill, let's bring you into this. I'm going to read to you something. This is from "Good Morning America," this morning. This is Bruce Fromong, he was one of the dealers in the room. He says: "The door burst open. In came running in, almost commando-style, O.J. Simpson, some of his people with guns drawn and O.J. at the time was saying. 'I want my stuff. I want my stuff.'" Is it possible to believe that O.J. Simpson did not know that these fellows had guns on them?

MARC LAMONT HILL, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY: It's possible? Of course, it's absolutely possible. Whether or not it's likely, whether or not it's true remains to be seen. I'd like to wait for all the evidence to unfold. Unfortunately, I think we are appealing to, you know, 13 years ago what happened to influence the way we think about O.J. Simpson right now. We would give many other celebrities the benefit of the doubt under these circumstances, but we're immediately rushing to judgment because America has this blood lust and this blood thirst for O.J. Simpson.

SANCHEZ: Why do you think that is, John Burris, if it's true? JOHN BURRIS, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I think it's true in that large measure because we all know that there are a large segment of this population thought he should have been found guilty and they are very much want to make him pay, whatever price he has to pay, whenever he has to pay. I do think you have to look at these facts very critically.

When a person makes these kind of charges, look at the -- what about the credibility of the people making the charges? The guy who testified went to court, was on TV this morning, you don't know that's true. We also know that other people made other statements. So, my point is, from a defense point of view, you have to critically analyze what these facts are and I will bet money that there's a lot more to these character credibility of these witnesses.

SANCHEZ: What about all the other cases, gentlemen?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have nothing do with this case.

SANCHEZ: But it's interesting -- I haven't been involved with the police in the last 10 years. Have you? Have you called the police...

TERRELL: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

BURRIS: That has nothing to do with this case.

TERRELL: O.J. Simpson has never been convicted of a felony. O.J. Simpson has never been convicted of a felony. And I want to tell you something else, Rick, to have that judge go on TV, a sitting judge and go on national TV explaining that, that's odd. I've never seen a sitting judge go on a national TV show and say: this is the reason why. That is odd.

(CROSSTALK)

BURRIS: But Leo, his analysis was not unreasonable in terms of his position. It was not unreasonable.

(CROSSTALK)

TERRELL: He should not be on TV. He should not be on TV.

BURRIS: He should not be on national television!

TERRELL: He should not be on TV!

HILL: Exactly. It seems like is he wants to jump on the top of the pile just like everyone else...

TERRELL: Right, he should not be on TV!

SANCHEZ: Well, in fairness to the judge, we called him earlier this afternoon. TERRELL: He's wrong! He's a bad judge! He's a bad judge!

SANCHEZ: We asked him to come in and explain his ruling and he came on and was able to do so.

TERRELL: He should never have been on TV. He's a bad judge!

SANCHEZ: We thank you John Burris, Marc Lamont Hill, Leo Terrell. We'll do this again tomorrow because we're out of time. And my producers are saying we're over. We appreciate it.

I want to take you into Iraq, now. This is Forward Operating Base Loyalty. This is inside Iraq. I want to show you what happens at an intersection just outside that base. Now, watch that car right there, that white car. See, boom! The car's actually getting hit with a missile that's being fired by insurgents. One more time. There's the car. And bang! Now, the base is just outside that intersection we're looking at, right there. In the end, we're told two people were killed, two others wounded as a result of that rocket fired by the insurgents.

So much more to talk about tonight, including others with the passion of a Leo Terrell. Is Hispanic television in the United States left-wing? Do they lean to the left? We're looking at that, breaking it down.

Also an Emmy winner gets censored. What's she say that was so bad? You're going to hear it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back to OUT IN THE OPEN, I'm Rick Sanchez. What do you know about Hispanic news in this country? You know, Univision, Telemundo? You know they have more viewers on many nights than any English language broadcast in this entire country? So, what are they saying? What are people listening to? Do they slant to the left or do they slant to the right?

Joining us now, Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez. She wrote an op-ed piece in the "Wall Street Journal" and she says that Univision -- she's been watching their broadcasts -- slants to the left. She also wrote, by the way, "Los Republicanos: Why Hispanics and Republicans need each other." I love saying that: Los Republicanos. What's with the Sanchez thing? Is that like a smith name or something? We all have it?

LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You know, I think a lot of people think we're all related, Rick, so...

SANCHEZ: We'll here's the deal. And I think you're right, certainly on this measure. George Bush and Carlos Gutierrez go out and put together immigration reform, a package that you would think most, whether you like it or hate it, I know people say amnesty and all that, but whether you like it or you hate it, you'd think many Hispanics in this country would be jumping for joy that somebody was trying to do something for them, whether we're Democrat or Republican and for some reason, they got no credit for it, right?

L. SANCHEZ: Never do. And it's a daily problem with Spanish language media. People really underestimate the impact that a station like Univision or Telemundo can have on the Hispanic community at large.

Even if you think back to last year and the large massive immigration marches, those were promoted by Spanish language broadcasters. These are folks that believe in advocacy journalism, they take their own political bias and they promote it one way or the other. And in this case, it tends to be against Republicans, it paints them as anti-immigrant. You have news anchors who are writing op-eds that say: Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney are anti-immigrant. And you have you Giuliani fighting that he's the...

SANCHEZ: Yeah, but here's where you got a problem, all right? I'll tell you where I think you got a problem. You also have Tom Tancredo. And you also have, by the way, Newt Gingrich. Great politician, brilliant guy, but earlier this year, he actually said that Spanish is a ghetto language.

L. SANCHEZ: Right.

SANCHEZ: That doesn't help the Republican cause, Leslie. I'm sorry.

L. SANCHEZ: No, no, that's why I wrote this book, Rick. You're exactly right. I mean, there are definitely ways that Republicans have to come together with Hispanics. But the bigger issue is what kind of importance do you put on a Tom Tancredo?

The two most common names recognized in Spanish language media are Tom Tancredo and Sensenbrenner, who was supporting building a fence along the U.S./Mexico border. There is undue importance that's placed upon them, because these are anchors who are saying that these are really the heads of the Republican Party. It's not a fair observation.

And on top of that, they discount and don't put, you know, the importance of issues like life issues and tax issues on the Democrats...

SANCHEZ: Oh no, no, I get it. But I got to ask you, as well, to be fair. Why wouldn't the Republicans debate? Apparently Univision wants them to go up there and debate. We're down to 20 seconds. If they called you and said should we, wouldn't you say yeah, you should, get out there, they'll respect you for it, even if they disagree with you?

L. SANCHEZ: Absolutely, the Republican candidates should engage in the Univision debate, it's imperative that they do. The Democrats did so. And more importantly, they should ask for fairness -- fair and balanced reporting, and fair -- and to be more objective in their reporting.

SANCHEZ: Leslie Sanchez, good stuff. Interesting ideas. Thanks so much.

L. SANCHEZ: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: I want you to know -- I want to show you something now, this is a video that caught our eye and we wanted to share it with you because it's part of our business. We think it's interesting, we think you might find this interesting, too.

This is in Memphis, Tennessee, setting it up for you. A television reporter, he's doing a story on people who get their licenses suspended, but then drive in their cars anyway, despite what the judge said. Let's go ahead Ellie, and roll this thing.

You see the reporter in the foreground, he's following this guy. Apparently the guy spits in the reporter's face. The reporter gets, understandably upset. But then we get the scuffle. Who's throwing who to the ground? That's probably the best question, there. By the way, the reporter needed a couple stitches after this.

But watch this kneeing incident that's about to take place right there. We're trying to get some questions answered about this case, so we made some phone calls today. We've been in contact with the TV news director there. It's director Bruce Moore. He tells us that reporter Andy Wise was following Woods to court to make sure he didn't get in his car, calling it a legitimate story. It's certainly one that we're going to keep tabs on for you.

All right, get ready for some downsizing at Kodak and we've got the goods. This is no Kodak moment, late.

Emmy winner, Sally Field, is -- her anti-war rant, it was censored by the way, but we've got it and we bring it OUT IN THE OPEN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: By the way, I should mention in that last segment, we were talking about Univision and there was charges hurled, so we did call Univision for a response. They didn't give us one, maybe tomorrow. We're going to try and get Jorge Ramos, my old colleague on here.

Speaking of colleagues, Larry King is coming up next and he's going to be talking about O.J. Simpson's legal troubles. Man, talk about a passionate subject. Did you hear Leo Terrell going a little while ago?

LARRY KING, LARRY KING LIVE: I love Leo, he's one of my all-time favorite guests. You don't have to agree with him, but Leo makes his points. And we had him on a lot during the Simpson murder trial and he's a sensational guest.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, he's real passionate about this stuff. So, who you got tonight, man?

KING: Anyway, coming up first we got Kathy Griffin's first live primetime interview since her Emmy acceptance speech got censored. Why has the Catholic League denounced her?

Plus one of O.J. Simpson's alleged robbery victims will be with us, and Simpson's alleged accomplice. And guess what, Rick, Kato Kaelin returns.

SANCHEZ: No.

KING: Yeah, we got a house for him out back. And Kim Goldman's reaction to Simpson being in jail without bail. You know, you couldn't write this stuff.

SANCHEZ: Oh, man. I can't wait. Good stuff.

KING: It's at the top of the hour, Rick. Hang around, watch it.

SANCHEZ: By the way, Kato, you're not talking about the dog, right?

KING: No, Kato.

SANCHEZ: Larry, we'll see you at 9:00.

All right, let's do this. Let's take a business break now. On Wall Street, the Dow dropped 39, the Nasdaq lost 20, the S&P fell seven. Former fed chairman, Alan Greenspan, says the odds of a recession are higher now than they were just a few months ago.

Earlier this year, he put the chance of one in three. Now he's saying less than 50/50.

General Motors workers in their third day on the job without a contract. GM and the United Auto Workers are still in talks, the big issue is whether the union will take on $51 billion in healthcare costs for GM retirees.

Kodak used to be one of America's iconic industrial giants. Kodak was photography in this country, but the move to gigital -- digital, pardon me, has been tough on this company. It's been downsizing for years now. And now it's leveling some of its own factories. In fact, this weekend, see this? This is this is Rochester, New York. Kodak imploded what it called building No. 50, it was built in 1918. Earlier this summer, Kodak leveled two other buildings in Rochester. Two others are scheduled to be demolished later in the year. A sign of the times.

They're going in. We're going along. This is an exclusive. FBI's most ambitious anti-terror drill yet. Use

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez. I'm going to show you something now that you're probably never going to get so close to before. It's what it could look like if your child's school were ever assaulted by terrorists. Serious stuff, right? Our Deborah Feyerick got exclusive access, this week, to the FBI's most intense wide-ranging terror drill ever. It's a dramatic look inside the law enforcement agency charged with protecting this country from terrorists.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is where it ends. FBI SWAT teams converge on an elementary school, 28 hours after the crisis begins. Students flee. It's a scenario the FBI doesn't usually let cameras in to see.

MARK MERSHON, ASST DIR FBI, NEW YORK: This is the single most ambitious field training exercise any FBI field office has ever undertaken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What appears to be a body...

FEYERICK: The training exercise starts here with a plastic dummy wearing military fatigues, shot through the head. A short distance away, acting on a tip, FBI divers make their own discovery. This scenario may be pretend, but what happens here has been taken from real cases. The pressure on for investigators to solve the crime before anyone else dies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We found a body in the vehicle.

FEYERICK (on camera): Near the car pulled from the lake, divers also found a backpack and inside, this tool which represents a weapon and printouts from an international skinhead group out of Canada. They also found a receipt for a storage company and it's this receipt that links the murder here to the murder back at the ravine, because investigators there found a business card for the very same storage company in the pocket of the dead man.

What does that suggest?

MIKE BYRNES, SPECIAL AGENT, FBI NEW YORK: That suggests that we're dealing with some dangerous people.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Dangerous people in this exercise who turn out to be domestic terrorists. They go to retrieve a bomb hidden in a storage unit. We're not allowed to show you the FBI surveillance techniques.

(on camera): The agents now have a beat on a possible suspect. It is critical to get the snipers and the assault teams into position.

(voice-over): The snipers dressed in gilley suits, banish around a house in the woods, hostages inside. The mock terrorists demand to speak with an FBI boss. Tensions run high.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want the big boss out here!

FEYERICK (on camera): The negotiations have been going on for more than six hours. One woman and two children have been released in exchange for food, cigarettes and insulin. But negotiations are about to break down.

(voice-over): One of the hostages in this drill is killed. The agents uncover the ultimate plot. The mock terror group plants bombs in a school. Time is running out.

JIM GIGLIANO, FBI NEW YORK: As soon as something happens at a school, it changes everything because you're not going to sit there and do a risk assessment. You're going in and you're going to stop harm being done to children.

FEYERICK: It's now or never. This time, it's a game, one that ends well.

GIGLIANO: The ultimate objective is for to us prevent the next terrorist act in the United States and for all of us to go home safe at the end of the day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Deb, why is it so important to train like this? What difference can this make for us?

FEYERICK: Well, the last thing any agent wants to do is end up at a scene and not know how to respond. So, by doing this, they get all the logistics worked out, they understand how to work together, how to get the situation under control and do it quickly and do it well. And that's what they aim to do. And that's what they did.

SANCHEZ: Same thing we kind of wished we had trained for on 9/11, as well.

FEYERICK: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Deb Feyerick, thanks so much. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Here's a surprise. Not. Controversy at the Emmys. Sally Field was giving her acceptance speech when the FOX network censor stepped in the middle of her anti-war statement. Here is the uncensored version.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SALLY FIELD, ACTRESS: If the mothers ruled the world, there would be no goddamn wars in the first place.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Viewers didn't hear that. They actually went to nothing. Field won lead actress for her drama in the role in "Brothers and Sisters."

That's it for us. See you again tomorrow. LARRY KING LIVE coming up next. I'm Rick Sanchez.

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