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O.J. Simpson wants items that were seized in Vegas

FORMER football star O.J. Simpson filed a declaration in court yesterday claiming that several items seized by authorities following the bungled hotel heist that sent him to prison are rightfully his and should be returned.

The declaration in Superior Court lists numerous signed footballs Simpson says he was awarded during his glory days as a college and pro athlete in the 1960s and 1970s. Others include ties Simpson says he wore during his murder trial and a picture he says the late FBI director J. Edgar Hoover gave him.

Simpson says most of the items disappeared when he moved from Los Angeles to Miami after being acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

"These items were utilized in my daily life," he says in the declaration filed by his lawyer. A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 18.

The items include a ball he was awarded in 1975 for scoring four touchdowns in a single game, others commemorating seasons in which he gained more than 1,000 yards and a ball commemorating his selection as a college All American in 1968.

Since his Sept. 13, 2007, arrest in Las Vegas, Simpson has insisted he was only trying to retrieve property stolen from him when he and several others burst into a hotel room and confronted a pair of memorabilia dealers who were led to believe they were offering the items for sale to a private collector.

Simpson, who was convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges, was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison. Most of the others pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Almost since the day of the arrest, the items have been the subject of a legal tug-of-war between Simpson and others.

One of the memorabilia dealers has laid claim to them and Ronald Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, wants them to help satisfy his share of a $33.5 million wrongful death judgment he and Brown's survivors obtained against Simpson.

"Tragically, we support Mr. Simpson's claim of ownership," said Goldman's lawyer, David Cook. He added he believes if Simpson prevails in court the items will eventually be turned over to Goldman.


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