Clarence C.J. Stewart waited nearly two years before breaking his silence and discussing the robbery and trial that landed him in a Nevada prison.
Its taken that long for him to come to grips with the fact that he was collateral damage in the case against O.J. Simpson.
When the former football star and actor was found guilty of robbing a sports memorabilia dealer in Las Vegas, Stewart was in the same room, facing the same judge and jury.
They were both going down, but only one was in the spotlight. Thats the way it had been since the beginning, Stewart said he felt.
Stewart is serving a 7 ½ to 27 year sentence at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City.
He agreed to speak exclusively to FOX5 about the events leading up to his the Palace Station robbery, when he and Simpson were among the guests at a wedding in Las Vegas.
Everybody was hyped up, lots of people, everybody putting on their best, he said.
Late in the evening, Stewart said Simpson told him he needed to move some merchandise out of town. Although he insisted he was tired, Stewart eventually wound up in the same car with Simpson, on their way to the hotel.
He didnt convince me. I was tricked into it. I had no intention of going, he said. I said Simpson, do you know whats going on here? He said, Look, Ill tell you about it later. I said, Nah, whats going on man.
Simpson and Stewart were joined by Walter Alexander, Charles Cashmore, Charles Ehrlich, Michael McClinton and Thomas Riccio, who, unbeknownst to them, was recording everything the moment they entered room 1203.
As soon as I walk in the door, thats when all hell broke loose, Stewart said. When I left, I got home and I said Lord what have I gotten myself into?
Wednesday On FOX5 News At 10: Did Simpson's Charm Play A Role In Robbery?
Simpson, I finally called him, and said Man whats going on? Stewart continued. He said Man dont worry everything will be cool by this evening, everything will be cool by this evening, dont worry, your boy can handle things. I said Simpson whats this about some guns and a robbery?
Stewart was arrested three days later.
He refused to take a plea deal in the case, claiming he was asked to lie in exchange for his freedom.
Clark County District Attorney David Roger said those accusations arent true.
I think he had the misguided belief that he was going to win this case just like Mr. Simpson felt the same way, Roger told FOX5. They decided to roll the dice. This is Las Vegas. They gambled, and they lost and now theyre paying the consequences.
Stewart said he doesnt feel he got his day in court. To this day, he argues the case was about sending O.J. Simpson to prison, after he evaded a murder conviction during the trial of the century.
I wouldnt be here if it werent about Simpson, he said.
Stewarts chances at a new trial now reside with the Nevada Supreme Court, but unless hes separated from his famous co-defendant, he sees little chance hell win the appeal fight.
If they separate me, Ive got a chance, he said. I just know they got to have a heart somewhere, they got to. They cant do me like this.