LAS VEGAS — Wearing a jail-issued blue jumpsuit and shaking his legs nervously, O.J. Simpson heard a judge mete out a prison sentence Friday that could run anywhere from nine to 33 years for his armed robbery and kidnapping conviction.
Simpson's co-defendant, C.J. Stewart, will serve somewhere from seven and a half to 27 years after prosecutors told the judge Stewart was ''less culpable'' than Simpson in a September 2007 incident in a hotel room off the Strip.
''I want to say I'm sorry and somewhat confused,'' an emotional Simpson said in court Friday, his voice breaking. "I feel apologetic to the people of the state of Nevada.''
Simpson, 61, and Stewart, 54, who have been jailed since a jury found them guilty on Oct. 3, will begin their sentences immediately. District Judge Jackie Glass denied motions from defense attorneys to release the men pending their appeals to the Nevada Supreme Court.
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''I believe they're both flight risks,'' Glass said.
Glass could have sentenced Simpson and Stewart to life in prison. Earlier in the week, court officials recommended they serve 18 years. Under Glass's sentence, Simpson will be eligible for parole in nine years and Stewart in seven and a half.
Simpson spoke in court for several minutes, explaining his story and what led him to confront two sports-memorabilia dealers at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino last year.
''I came here for a wedding, I didn't come here to reclaim property. I was told it was here,'' Simpson said. "This was the first time I had the opportunity to catch these guys red-handed who had been stealing from my family.
''I realize I was stupid, and I'm sorry,'' he continued. "I didn't know I was doing anything illegal. I'm sorry for all of it.''
Glass took a shot at Simpson before reading her sentence:
''At a bail hearing for Mr. Simpson, I said I didn't know if he was arrogant, ignorant or both. Through the trial, I got the answer, and it was both,'' Glass said. "At the time of this event, and at the time I saw you at the bail hearing, it was clear to the court that you believed you could do in Las Vegas what you couldn't do elsewhere: You could get your stuff back.''
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