Man charged in connection with OJ Simpson Heisman theft

LOS ANGELES (AP) A man arrested in connection with the theft of a copy of O.J. Simpson's Heisman Trophy more than 20 years ago from the University of Southern California pleaded not guilty Wednesday to receiving stolen property.

Lewis Eugene Starks Jr., 56, of Apple Valley, was arrested Monday, nearly nine months after prosecutors said he tried to sell the long-lost prize.

The trophy, a Simpson jersey and a plaque were stolen from a display case in a burglary at the university in 1994 while Simpson was awaiting trial in the killings of his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman. He was acquitted of murder the following year.

The Heisman, awarded to the most outstanding college football player, was a duplicate given to the university in 1968.

Simpson's own trophy was seized under a $33.5 million judgment after a civil court jury found him liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman.

Simpson is in a Nevada prison for an armed heist in a Las Vegas casino hotel room.

Starks' bail was set at $20,000 at his arraignment.

Police announced the recovery of the trophy and plaque in January but didn't initially make an arrest. They said at the time that the jersey was still missing.

Starks, who has a burglary conviction on his record, could face up to six years in state prison if he is convicted of the felony.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.