Wed | Aug 16, 2017

OJ Simpson to face Nevada parole board with freedom in sight

Published:Thursday | July 20, 2017 | 7:00 AM
O.J. Simpson

LOVELOCK, Nevada (AP):

O.J. Simpson once thrilled crowds as he ran for touchdowns and hurdled airport seats in carrental ads to achieve Hollywood celebrity before he was acquitted of murder in the 1995 'trial of the century' in Los Angeles.

Now, an ageing Simpson will appear as inmate No. 1027820 in a starkly plain hearing room in a remote Nevada prison today to plead for his freedom. He's spent more than eight years behind bars for armed robbery and assault with a weapon after trying to take back sports memorabilia in a budget hotel room in Las Vegas.

Simpson, 70, will ask four parole board members who sided with him once before to release him in October, a likely possibility with his clean prison record.

Simpson is expected to reiterate that he has kept a promise to stay out of trouble, coaches in the prison gym where he works and counsels other inmates.

O.J. Simpson is expected to explain what he would do and where he would live if he is granted parole after reaching the nine-year minimum of his 33-year sentence.

He was convicted in 2008 after enlisting some men he barely knew, including two with guns, to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.

"My crime was trying to retrieve for my family my own property," Simpson told the parole officials in 2013 before apologising.

"Make no mistake, I would give it all back," he said, "to get these last five years back."

The items disappeared after Simpson was found not guilty in the 1994 killings of his ex-wife and her friend, and before he was found liable in 1997 in civil court for the deaths.