Parole board votes to release O.J. Simpson from prison in October
With the ruling, the 70-year-old Simpson, who was convicted in 2008 of an armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room, could be out of prison as early as Oct. 1 after serving the minimum nine years of a 33-year sentence.
When the final vote to grant parole was read after parole commissioners deliberated just over 30 minutes, Simpson lowered his head and then raised it up with a big smile.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” an emotional Simpson said while his sister, Shirley Baker, wept and hugged Arnelle Simpson, his daughter.
Then, as he was led down a hall, the former athlete raised his hands over his head in a victory gesture and said, “Oh, God, oh!”
All four parole commissioners cited his lack of a prior conviction, the low risk he might commit another crime, his community support and his release plans, which include moving to Florida.
Simpson appeared before the parole board hearing via video conferencing from Lovelock Correctional Center.
“I’ve spent nine years making no excuses about anything. I am sorry that things turned out the way they did,” Simpson said in his closing remarks during the hearing. “I had no intent to commit a crime. … I’ve done my time. I’d just like to get back to my family and friends — believe it or not, I do have some real friends — and I tried to be helpful to everybody.”
The hearing was chaired by Connie Bisbee, with Tony Corda, Adam Endel and Susan Jackson also in attendance via video conferencing from Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners headquarters in Carson City, Nevada. They voted 4-0 to grant his early release.
Simpson’s sentence had been scheduled to end Sept. 29, 2022.
Had a unanimous vote not been reached, Parole commissioners Ed Gray and Michael Keeler, who were monitoring proceedings from Las Vegas, would have weighed in.
Under terms of the parole, Simpson is permitted to drink alcohol, but not to excess. If tests show he has a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, that will be considered excess.
Simpson, appearing as inmate No. 1027820, was accompanied by lawyer Malcolm LaVergne, prison caseworker Marc La Fleur, close friend Tom Scotto, Baker and Arnelle Simpson.
The same four commissioners watching from Carson City granted him parole during his last public appearance in 2013 on some of his 12 charges, leaving him with four years to serve before reaching his minimum term.
Before the hearing concluded, one of the two memorabilia dealers Simpson robbed, Bruce Fromong, said the former football great never pointed a gun at him during the confrontation, adding that it was one of Simpson’s accomplices. Fromong said Simpson deserved to be released so he can be with his children.
“He is a good man. He made a mistake,” Fromong said, adding the two remain friends.
Read more: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20114132/parole-board-votes-release-oj-simpson-prison-october
The Associated Press contributed to this report.