Apple Valley Man Faces Judge Over O.J. Simpson's Stolen Heisman Trophy

By: Hal Eisner

When Lewis Starks walked into the courtroom he was being held in lieu of $70,000 bail. After his public defender's plea, Judge Sergio Tapia reduced the bail to $20,000.

The plea, as attorney Mearl Lottman pleaded not guilty on behalf of his client, was that Starks had worked with police and was cooperating in the case.

Back in 1968, Simpson was the best player in all of college football. It's why he won the trophy and why USC got one as well. Simpson had his Heisman until it went missing. It was later found in June of 1997. With regard to USC's Heisman, they had it in a trophy case at the school's Heritage Hall until it was stolen. That was in 1994. Not long after O.J. Simpson went on trial for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

Lottman told the judge his client "has shown good faith." He said, the Apple Valley man "contacted USC telling them he had (USC's) trophy." That was back in December of 2014. And, with regard to the 56-year-old Apple Valley man, TMZ is reporting that Starks is adamant he's not the guy who originally stole the trophy, but admitted he did barter for it in 1996 trading a Honda Accord and $500 cash.

As the long investigation went on police continued to talk with Starks. Lottman told the judge when he returned the trophy to USC he was interviewed by the police and let go. That was in December 2014. But, on Monday, August police were back. They had scheduled a polygraph test "which he showed up for... he told the truth and at the end of the polygraph test he was arrested."

Lottman asked for Starks to be released on his own recognizance. The judge passed on that, but dropped the bail $50,000. He lowered it from $70,000 to $20,000.

Copyright 2015 FOX 11 Los Angeles : Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube .