Las Vegas Sun

December 17, 2014

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Witness brought in from California jail to testify against O.J. Simpson

Memorabilia dealer serving time in Chino, Calif., for probation violation

Oh, what a difference a year can make.

When Alfred Beardsley visited Las Vegas in September 2007 he booked a room at Binion's Horseshoe Hotel & Casino. When he recently returned a year later to testify at the O.J. Simpson robbery/kidnapping trial, however, he was booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

He is the second of the two memorabilia dealers who claims he was robbed at gunpoint last year by an entourage that included Simpson to testify against the former NFL star.

Simpson and his co-accused, Clarence "C.J" Stewart, face a dozen robbery, kidnapping and weapons charges stemming from the alleged robbery at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino last year. Beardsley is the 15th witness prosecutors have called to the stand.

While witnesses often complain testifying in a criminal trial is a hassle, being called to the stand provided Beardsley a welcome change of scenery.

He is currently doing time in Chino, Calif., following a parole violation connected to an unrelated stalking conviction. The memorabilia dealer has been behind bars since April.

He was out on parole last year when the altercation involving Simpson and the others took place. Beardsley's parole conditions stipulated that he was not to leave the state of California, so he was picked up on Sept, 19, 2007, after authorities learned he was involved in the alleged robbery in Nevada six days earlier.

Since the incident, Beardsley hasn't exactly seen eye-to-eye with the middleman who arranged the alleged set-up in the hotel room on Sept. 13, 2007, Thomas Riccio.

Riccio, too, is no stranger to Beardsley's legal troubles, jail time or parole conditions. He requested the court add a specific condition to Beardsley's parole terms that forbade him from contacting Riccio.

The parole police came a-knockin', however, after Beardsley in May contacted the publishing company that printed Riccio's tell-all and self-important book, "Busted!"

He contacted Phoenix Books to complain that the book portrayed him unfairly. (Riccio refers to Beardsley as "weird Al" in the book, and the description of Riccio's former associate is hardly glowing.)

Riccio's publisher contacted the collectibles dealer-turned-writer and Riccio, in turn, contacted police. Beardsley was later incarcerated because of the schmozzle and is appealing the violation.

Beardsley has filed a civil suit against Riccio, alleging a range of things, including that the middleman knowingly put him in danger and later defamed him in the book. Beardsley's lawyer, Nack Swickard, said his client is seeking unspecified damages.

Swickard said Beardsley was transferred from his current abode - a Chino, Calif., jailhouse - to the Clark County Detention Center last week.

He said his client has enjoyed his time in Las Vegas so far.

"He likes it better," Swickard said. "The food's a lot better."

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