Vegas handles O.J. Simpson case with kid judge
BY ADAM NICHOLS in New York
and JEFF BURBANK in Las Vegas
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Thursday, September 20th 2007, 4:00 AM
The ponytailed judge whom O.J. Simpson faced yesterday was only a teen
when the Juice was last in custody.
Joe Bonaventure Jr., 31, is Las Vegas' youngest judge.
He graduated from law school six years ago and had only two years of
legal experience before being elected a justice of the peace in 2004.
He was accused of deliberately deceiving voters about his inexperience
by masquerading as his father - a high-profile district judge with the
"His campaign literature didn't differentiate between himself or his
father in any way," said Steve Miller, a former Vegas councilman. "He
wasn't qualified for the position. He won because voters thought they
were electing his father. I have no doubt about it."
Miller's complaint to the state attorney general was dismissed.
Bonaventure's dad called the allegations nonsense.
"He's his own man," said Joseph Bonaventure Sr., 64.
He told the Daily News he's awfully proud of how he handled Simpson:
"I've seen judges who want their 15 minutes of fame but he wasn't
playing for the cameras. He got his business done quick."
Still, the uproar over Bonaventure Jr.'s election prompted a new law -
dubbed the Joe Bonaventure bill - that would have disqualified him from
the race. Las Vegas judges must now have at least five years' legal
Bonaventure Jr. is expected to continue presiding over the Simpson case
until it reaches trial and assigned to another judge.