Date: 6th March 2001
Former football star O.J. SIMPSON pleaded not guilty yesterday (5MAR01) in a Florida road rage case.
Simpson, 53, did not attend the arraignment, in which he was formally charged in state court with a felony count of burglary of an occupied vehicle and a misdemeanour count of simple battery, said his attorney, YALE GALANTER. He could face up to 16 years in prison if convicted at the trial which begins on 25 June (01).
The charges stem from a 4 December (01) argument between Simpson and JEFFREY PATTINSON in the Miami suburb of Kendall, where Simpson lives. Pattinson, 55, told police that Simpson ran a stop sign and cut him off, then stopped his car and approached Pattinson's vehicle. He said Simpson berated him, then ripped the eyeglasses off his face, scraping his skin. Simpson said that Pattinson had honked and flashed his lights at him, and that he had simply walked away from Pattinson's car after Pattinson yelled at him. (PDD/WNWR)