Wed | Dec 13, 2017

OJ Simpson granted parole after nearly 9 years in prison

Published:Friday | July 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. yesterday

LOVELOCK, Nevada (AP):

O.J. Simpson was granted parole yesterday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star.

Simpson, 70, could be a free man as early as October 1. By then, he would have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year armed-robbery sentence for a bungled attempt to snatch sports memorabilia and other mementos he claimed had been stolen from him.

All four parole commissioners who conducted the hearing voted for his release after about a half-hour of deliberations. They cited his lack of a prior conviction, the low risk that he might commit another crime, his community support, and his release plans, which include moving to Florida.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," Simpson said quietly as he buried his head on his chest with relief. As he rose from his seat to return to his prison cell, he exhaled deeply.

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!"

A Nevada parole official says if O.J. Simpson is cleared to be supervised in Florida, he would report to a Florida parole officer.

Capt Shawn Arruti of the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation told reporters yesterday after Simpson was granted parole that if he violated the terms of release, he would come back to Nevada to have his parole revoked.

Arruti says Florida parole officials would decide whether to accept Simpson, but it is common when an inmate has family in the area like he does.