O.J. Simpson To Be Released From Prison On Parole In October
On Thursday afternoon, a Nevada parole board voted unanimously to release Orenthal James Simpson from prison in October. Simpson will be released after serving nine years of his original 33-year sentence, which he received for his participation in a Las Vegas armed robbery.
Simpson is currently being held in Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, where he will remain for the coming months.
The board’s members, Tony Corda, Adam Endel, Susan Jackson, and its chairperson Connie Bisbee, deliberated for about a half hour after hearing testimony from a slew of Simpson supporters. They all agreed to grant Simpson parole and will produce a list of conditions in the coming days.
The hearing was marked by teary testimony from Simpson’s eldest daughter Arnelle Simpson and the only surviving victim of the original robbery, Bruce Fromong, who maintains a friendship with Simpson despite the crime.
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“O.J. has always been my friend, and I hope still remains my friend,” Fromong said at the hearing, noting that the two had been close long before the robbery. “O.J. never held a gun on me…Another man came in, hit me. Not O.J. He never laid a hand on me.”
In tears he finished his testimony, “If he called me tomorrow and said, ‘I’m getting out, will you pick me up?’ Juice, I’d be here tomorrow.”
The 2007 incident occurred when Simpson and five other men went into a Las Vegas casino to retrieve sports memorabilia including singed footballs and photographs that Simpson thought belonged to him. Fromong was one of two men who planned to sell the memorabilia.
Simpson was charged with 12 crimes, including armed robbery and kidnapping.
Simpson’s daughter also teared up and choked her way through her testimony.
“No one really knows how much we have been through this ordeal in the last nine years,” Arnelle Simpson said. “My experience with him is that he’s like my best friend and my rock. As a family, we recognize that … he’s done his best to speak to his overall nature and character, which is to be positive no matter what.”
She often referred to Simpson’s behavior during the robbery as a “mistake” and noted on several occasions that he had not planned on the robing the sellers when he went to retrieve his “personal” items.
Simpson gave several remarks during the course of the hearing, defending his actions at first but taking a more apologetic tone when sharing his closing remarks.
“I’ve done my time. I’ve done it as respectfully as anyone can…I’ve not complained for nine years…I want to get back to my kids and my family,” Simpson told the parole board and the large number of media members present at the hearing.
As part of Simpson’s case for parole, he and his lawyer Malcolm LaVergne, laid out a plan for Simpson if released. He plans on moving to Florida to be with his family and promised not to be a danger to anyone in the community.
At one point the former football star said, “I’m pretty much a guy who’s always gotten along with everybody…I’ve basically spent a conflict-free life.”
In 1994, Simpson was arrested and tried for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. After what was dubbed ‘the trial of the century’ Simpson was acquitted of all charges. No other suspect was arrested or tried.
After the acquittal, Goldman’s family filed a wrongful death civil suit against Simpson. The jury found that Simpson was liable for Goldman’s death and awarded the family a $33.5 million settlement.
In 2001, Simpson was arrested and charged for simple battery and robbery after pulling the glasses off a motorist months earlier. He was acquitted of all charges.
Simpson will be 70-years-old when released from prison.
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