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O.J. Simpson Released from Las Vegas Jail

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And now to Las Vegas, where O.J. Simpson is charged with nearly a dozen felonies, all a result of his alleged armed robbery of some sports memorabilia dealers. Yesterday Simpson made bail and left the jail in a gray sedan. As news cameras followed his every move, it was eerily reminiscent of another Simpson journey in a white Bronco.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

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MANDALIT DEL BARCO: O.J. Simpson's latest troubles have a ring of familiarity. There he was back in court facing charges that could send him to jail for life. And outside news helicopters buzzed overhead as O.J. walked out of the jailhouse and into the frenzy.

Unidentified Man #1: O.J.! He's right there. Touchdown!

DEL BARCO: Some folks like Jake Bird traveled from Los Angeles to support Simpson, but others see his latest arrest as payback for beating the double-murder wrap 13 years ago. The murder trial caused a media circus. So did a civil lawsuit that followed.

Now it's happening all over again, says veteran CBS newsman Steve Futterman.

So does this remind you of anything?

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Mr. STEVE FUTTERMAN (CBS News): The old Yogi Berra line: deja vu all over again. Yeah. O.J. three, we've been calling it.

DEL BARCO: Like Simpson's earlier troubles, the incident in Las Vegas is stirring a passionate debate, like this one outside the courthouse.

Unidentified Man #2: Do you agree that he was set up?

Unidentified Man #3: Where? Here?

Unidentified Man #2: Here.

Unidentified Man #3: No. There's no way.

(Soundbite of yelling)

DEL BARCO: But Simpson's lawyer, Yale Galanter, cautioned the public to reserve judgment until after all the facts of the case are heard.

Mr. YALE GALANTER (Attorney): I mean there isn't a place on the planet that Mr. Simpson could go when somebody wouldn't recognize him or know who he was. The truth of the matter is, is that despite his past and public opinion about his past, he is not a flight risk and he is not a danger to the community.

DEL BARCO: The judge ordered O.J. Simpson not to leave the country, and his lawyer order him not to talk to the press.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News, Las Vegas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.