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Former lawyer contradicts O.J. Simpson, says he knew guns were involved

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Former O.J. Simpson defense attorney Yale Galanter testifies during an evidentiary hearing for Simpson in Clark County District Court on May 17, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nev.

A former attorney for O.J. Simpson took the stand Friday and said the former football player knew two companions would be armed with guns when they went to a Las Vegas hotel room to retrieve memorabilia that he claims was stolen from him.

Simpson, 65, is serving nine to 33 years after being convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping for the 2007 confrontation. In seeking a new trial, Simpson's claims are that he didn't know a weapon was used and he got bad legal representation at his trial.

Simpson has said attorney Yale Galanter didn't argue at the trial that he was not aware his two companions were carrying guns during the confrontation at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in September 2007 because Simpson was drunk at the time. On the stand Friday, Galanter said he poured "blood, sweat and soul" into Simpson's defense but added that he couldn't mount that defense because the former NFL star was not intoxicated at the time.

Attorney Yale Galanter fires back against allegations he didn't do enough to help OJ Simpson fight his 2008 robbery case. NBC's Stephanie Stanton reports.

"The truth of the matter is that when you look at the entire trial I don't think I could have fought harder or done more," Galanter said. "I gave every ounce of blood, sweat and soul into this defense team."

Galanter also said Simpson told him he had asked one of his companions to bring "heat" to the hotel room meeting, and that he was aware another man would also have a gun. He also testified that he told Simpson to call the police instead of going in himself.

Simpson testified Wednesday that guns never came up as he and the other men discussed going to the memorabilia dealers' room to size up the merchandise, that he didn't see anyone pull a gun inside the room, and that his pals later denied a weapon was shown before they left with some items.

Simpson famously did not take the stand during the sensational 1995 trial at which he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife and her friend.

He also did not take the stand during the robbery trial five years ago — a decision that will be key in arguments that Galanter gave him bad advice during the 2008 robbery trial.

If Simpson doesn’t prevail at this proceeding -- and legal experts say he's a long shot, he must serve five more years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

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O.J. Simpson takes stand in bid to have robbery conviction overturned