Friday, December 5, 2008. (AP) -- A broken O.J. Simpson was sentenced Friday to as many as 33 years in prison for a hotel armed robbery after a judge rejected his apology and said, "It was much more than stupidity." The 61-year-old football Hall of Famer stood shackled and stone-faced as Judge Jackie Glass rattled off the punishment. Moments before, Simpson made a rambling, five-minute plea for leniency, simultaneously apologizing for the holdup as a foolish mistake and trying to justify his actions.
He choked back tears as he told her: "I didn't want to steal anything from anyone. ... I'm sorry, sorry."
Simpson said he was simply trying to retrieve sports memorabilia and other mementos, including his first wife's wedding ring, from two dealers when he stormed a Las Vegas hotel room on Sept. 13, 2007.
But the judge emphasized that it was a violent confrontation in which at least one gun was drawn, and she said someone could have been shot. She said the evidence was overwhelming, with the planning, the confrontation itself and the aftermath all recorded on audio or videotape.
Glass, a no-nonsense judge known for her tough sentences, imposed such a complex series of consecutive and concurrent sentences that even many attorneys watching the case were confused as to how much time Simpson got.
Simpson could serve up to 33 years but could be eligible for parole after nine years, according to Elana Roberto, the judge's clerk.
The judge said several times that her sentence in the Las Vegas case had nothing to do with Simpson's 1995 acquittal in the slaying of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.