OJ Simpson told his accomplices to bring guns when confronting two sports memorabilia dealers, his co-defendant has claimed.

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Walter Alexander – who was with the former American footballer when he tried to forcefully reclaim his own sports memorabilia from official dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room last month – says Simpson was keen for them to be armed.

Alexander – who has agreed to a plea-deal and will now testify for the prosecution – told police: “O.J. said, ‘Hey, just bring some firearms.’

“He said, ‘We won’t have to use them, but just to look tough, you know, so that these people know that we’re here for business.'”

Simpson, Alexander and four other men were charged with 10 felony counts of armed robbery, kidnapping, assault, burglary, and conspiracy for allegedly stealing USD80,000 worth of memorabilia.

Simpson – also faces a misdemeanour charge of conspiracy to commit a crime – has denied guns were involved.

His lawyer Yale Galanter said: “There was no reason for Mr. Simpson to tell anyone to bring guns. He was going to see people he knew.

“Alexander was negotiating for a get-out-jail-free card when he gave his statement.”