"I'm surprised you haven't seen my head spin and fire come out of my mouth at this point in this trial," said Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass.
Simpson and a co-defendant are accused of robbing and holding two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint a year ago in a hotel room to get back mementos that once belonged to the former NFL star, who once famously beat charges of murdering his ex-wife and her friend.
After both sides rested, Glass dismissed jurors for the day, convened privately with attorneys to discuss jury instructions and told everyone to return Thursday for final arguments.
But that was after she first admonished jurors to disregard testimony blurted out by police detective Andy Caldwell, then told them to forget about her admonition.
Defense lawyers, the judge and spectators thought Caldwell, the lead detective in the case, said star defense witness Thomas Scotto had been thrown out of a preliminary hearing for "tampering with a witness."
But after sending the jury from the courtroom and reviewing Caldwell's testimony on tape, Glass found that Caldwell had referred to "Mrs. Scotto," not Scotto himself.
Simpson lawyer Yale Galanter said attacking the credibility of Scotto's wife was just as bad, but the judge said Sabrina Scotto was not a witness and retracted her admonishment to the jury. Glass also sternly lectured the detective outside the jury's presence for putting the case in jeopardy.
The legal flap all but upstaged the defense's final flourish - testimony from Scotto, a close friend of Simpson's who said two key prosecution witnesses tried to extort him for $50,000.
The defense introduced a voice mail recording of Walter Alexander offering to tailor his testimony to benefit Simpson if he was paid enough
"If I get some help, I'll do whatever I can," said Alexander, whose message was played in a hushed courtroom.
"I can do quite a bit," said Alexander, one of four former co-defendants who pleaded guilty to reduced charges in return for their testimony against Simpson.
Scotto was asked what he thought after hearing the message and replied: "Basically, he was selling his testimony."
Simpson was not called as a witness in his own defense. The final defense evidence, the call from Alexander to Scotto, came about a month after Simpson and a group of men, including Alexander, were arrested after the Sept. 13, 2007, hotel room confrontation.
Scotto, 46, a North Miami Beach, Fla., auto repair shop owner who became a friend of Simpson's over eight years, provided an account that played out against the backdrop of his impending wedding that brought Simpson and others to Las Vegas.
His story was interspersed with details of trips to the marriage license bureau, the bakery and the florist.
Scotto told of being cornered by Alexander and former co-defendant Michael McClinton during a party for the wedding couple at co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart's home the night after the confrontation at the Palace Station casino and hotel. He said that the two men tried to extort him for $50,000, and that McClinton threatened violence if he wasn't paid.
Scotto said they demanded $50,000, saying, "This thing went bad and O.J. got them involved in this."
Scotto quoted McClinton as saying, "You don't know me that well. ... I'll shoot everyone up."
District Attorney David Roger accused Scotto of telling Stewart he would "take out a contract" on Alexander's life, but he offered no evidence to support the allegation other than "a good faith belief."
"That's ridiculous," Scotto said.
Lawyers for Stewart called only one witness: his cousin Linda Lockheart. She said Stewart was elsewhere, entertaining friends, when Simpson and others gathered to plan the confrontation. Simpson and Stewart have pleaded not guilty to 12 criminal charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping. Each man could face five years to life in prison if convicted in the confrontation.
Simpson was acquitted in 1995 in Los Angeles of criminal charges that he murdered his ex-wife and her friend. Simpson was later found liable for the deaths in a civil case.
AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch contributed to this report.