O.J. Simpson has been granted a release from jail after serving almost nine years at the Lovelock Correctional Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. In September of 2007, Simpson and three other associates were arrested for allegedly stealing his own memorabilia at the Palace Station Hotel-Casino at gunpoint.
All of Simpson’s co-defendants in the case took plea-bargains against O.J. to reduce their own sentences for their involvement in the alleged crimes. As a result, he was sentenced to 33 years in prison with the possibility of parole after serving nine years.
However, Simpson was granted parole for some of his charges during July of 2013 but was ultimately held at the Las Vegas prison on other charges. His new parole hearing was then set for July of 2017.
Today, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners finally gave O.J. a chance to speak and persuade them that he is a changed man and is capable of being released from prison without being a risk of any infractions in the future.
The hearing began around 1 p.m. It lasted a little over an hour, with O.J. speaking to the board via a video camera. Simpson was accompanied by his attorney at the meeting.
The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners began the hearing by speaking to O.J. about the factors that are determined and considered in order for an inmate to be released from prison.
After that, they informed him of the severity of his crimes, but they also acknowledged the good behavior he’s displayed in prison during his sentence. Once that information was relayed, they allowed him to speak about the incident that occurred in 2007 and his involvement.
O.J. admitted that he did not bring any guns to the hotel, but he did try to get his property that his friend informed him was stolen. He says he was initially not interested in the items he was told were his, but his friends insisted that he pursue the matter.
Aside from expressing his innocence, he spoke on what he has done in prison to prove he is an upstanding citizen. He stated that he did take an “alternative to violence” course that he felt was important to help with the interaction between people.
He feels that it is a course he will recommend to every inmate. Simpson also informed the board that he does not have an alcohol abuse problem. He took a substance abuse course to be able to help his kids in case it was a problem that they experienced in the future.
O.J. was asked by the board if his prison experience has humbled him, and he admitted it has.
“I haven’t made any excuses in the 9 years that I’ve been here.”
O.J. Simpson at parole hearing: “I haven't made any excuses in the 9 years I’ve been here and I'm not trying to make an excuse now." pic.twitter.com/rXfz5BKR3D— ABC News (@ABC) July 20, 2017
After that, the board informed him that his 1995 acquittal for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown would not be a determining factor in his parole judgment, despite many requests to take it into consideration.
Simpson thanked the board for not using that as a factor in his case. He expressed his eagerness to spend time with his children. They also asked how would he stay out of trouble with the possibility of returning back to prison if he violates his terms of parole.
O.J. simply responded by saying he’s “lived a conflict-free life.” Simpson then informed the court that he would like to reside in Florida while serving his parole, which doesn’t seem to be an issue as long as he has lived there for more than a year and has the proper support to do so.
Arnelle Simpson, the daughter of O.J., was called upon to speak on behalf of her father. She was very emotional through her testimony and spoke nothing but good graces of him.
“My dad recognizes he took the wrong approach,” she said.
She also stated that “we have remained close, and have stayed strong.”
Arnelle Simpson on father O.J. Simpson: "As his daughter, I can honestly say my dad recognizes that he took the wrong approach." pic.twitter.com/1E9uf6VtIz— ABC News (@ABC) July 20, 2017
O.J.’s attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, was then granted permission to speak on his client’s behalf. LaVergne insisted that his client was not interested in any of the memorabilia but was more concerned about intimate family photos that were allegedly stolen.
Simpson was then allowed to make his closing statements before the decision was made. He used that time to explain he has learned from his mistakes and has done his time while being a positive help to a good majority of the inmates who were incarcerated with him.
Bruce Fromong, who is a friend of O.J. and a victim of the 2007 robbery, was called upon to speak on the incident. He ultimately stated that his friend was misled by Thomas Riccio about the details leading up to the incident.
The 2007 O.J. Simpson robbery victim, Bruce Fromong, is wearing a "HEISMAN" shirt pic.twitter.com/Q9zHUJb82D— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 20, 2017
Fromong also stated that it was indeed true that some of the items indeed belonged to O.J. He then admitted that a man named Clinton entered the room and pointed a gun in his direction, not O.J. himself.
After about a 30-minute break, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners ruled that O.J. Simpson would be granted an early release from prison on October 1, after serving nine years at the Lovelock Correctional Facility.
Breaking: O.J. Simpson has been granted parole nine years into a 33-year sentence; could be released as early as Oct. 1st. pic.twitter.com/K9ARkDOcu0— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 20, 2017
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]