LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – After nearly a decade behind bars, O.J. Simpson will soon be a free man.
After a parole hearing that lasted more than an hour, commissioners with the Nevada Board of Parole granted the former NFL star early release Thursday.
Simpson, 70, had served nine years of a 33-year sentence for armed robbery and assault stemming from a confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers in a hotel room at Las Vegas’ Palace Station Hotel and Casino in 2007.
Following the board’s decision, Simpson was expected to be released from the medium-security Lovelock Correctional Center October 1.
Citing his lack of prior convictions, a low risk of recidivism and strong community support as well as plans for release, Simpson received the unanimous vote he needed from the four board members in attendance to secure his release.
Earlier Thursday, Simpson appeared via videoconference from the prison, where he fielded questions from the commissioners in Carson City.
Looking greyer and thinner than during his last parole hearing in 2013, dressed in jeans and a light-blue prison shirt, Simpson told commissioners he made no excuses for his crimes.
Simpson said he never carried a weapon and insisted that the property he was trying to get back was his own, apologizing to his victims.
“In no way, shape or form did I wish them any harm,” Simpson said.
Simpson portrayed himself as a model prisoner, helping to mediate conflicts in the prison, taking violence aversion courses and even serving as commissioner of the prison’s softball league.
Simpson’s oldest child Arnelle Simpson also spoke of her father’s behalf, pleading with the board to allow her father to return home.
While confessing that Simpson was not perfect and didn’t make the correct decisions in the 2007 crimes, Arnelle Simpson said her father was remorseful and has done his best.
Bruce Fromong, a Simpson associate and one of the memorabilia dealers victimized in the attack, also spoke for Simpson’s freedom.
“O.J. never held a gun on me….he never laid a hand on me. Nine-and-a-half to 33 years was way too long. It’s time to give him a second chance,” Fromong said. “This is a good man.”
During a closing statement, Simpson again expressed that remorse.
“I’ve spent nine years making no excuses about anything. I’m sorry….I’ve done my time. I’d just like to get back to my family and friends. I did my time. I tried to be helpful to everybody…I thought I was happy to get my stuff back, but it wasn’t worth it,” Simpson said.
In conjunction with the interview and supporting statements, commissioners also assessed a parole hearing report, including guidelines that favored Simpson’s release.
Simpson said he planned to return to Florida following his release.
“I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don’t think you guys want me here,” Simpson joked.
In 2013, Simpson was granted parole on the other charges connected to the 2007 incident, including kidnapping, robbery and burglary. With that decision, Simpson only had to serve four more years before reaching his minimum time behind bars.
In 2007, Simpson along with four other men went to the hotel room at Palace Station to confront sports memorabilia dealers Fromong and Alfred Beardsley about collectibles and personal items that Simpson said belonged to him.
Two of Simpson’s associates were carrying guns. Simpson said he didn’t know anyone was armed.
In 1995, Simpson was famously acquitted of murder charges in the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and waiter Ron Goldman.