O.J. Simpson will go free after serving nine years in a Nevada prison on charges stemming from an armed robbery a state parole board ruled.
O.J. Simpson, who turned 70 this month, went before the board as a man convicted of taking a group of accomplices, two of them armed with guns, to a cheap Las Vegas hotel room in 2007 to take hundreds of items from a sports memorabilia dealer.
The football legend could be released as soon as October 1.
“I always thought I’ve been pretty good with people,” Simpson told the board, “and have basically spent a conflict-free life.”
Simpson’s eldest daughter, Arnelle Simpson, and one of Simpson’s victims from the Vegas case testified in support of his release. “I’ve known O.J. for a long time,” said Bruce Fromong, a memorabilia dealer. “I don’t feel that he’s a threat to anyone out there. He’s a good man. . . Nine-and-a-half to 33 years is way too long. I feel that it’s time to give him a second chance.”
During the past nine years in Lovelock, Simpson mopped floors, disinfected gym equipment, coached inmate sports teams and led Bible study. In a sad echo of athletic competitiveness, he told the warden that he would try to be “the best prisoner they’ve ever had.” He missed his childrens’ college graduations. He missed his sister’s funeral. He was waitlisted for a prison course called “Commitment to Change.” Other younger inmates came to him for advice, Simpson claimed, and he has defused conflicts.
O.J. Simpson’s football career took him from the University of Southern California to the Buffalo Bills. Following his retirement, his celebrity status catapulted him to movie stardom and a cushy Brentwood, California, mansion.
More than 20 years ago, Simpson went on trial for the killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. The two were found on June 12, 1994, stabbed to death at her Los Angeles home. On Oct. 3, 1995, at the end of a televised trial that captivated the nation, Simpson was acquitted of all criminal charges. He has always maintained his innocence.
source: abcnews.go.com, washingtonpost.com, nytimes.com