OJ fresh again ... former NFL/movie star gets parole
Former NFL player and movie star gets parole
LOVELOCK, Nevada (AP):
O.J. Simpson was granted parole yesterday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist.
Simpson, 70, could be a free man as early as October 1. By then, he will 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.
He got the four votes he needed from the parole commissioners who heard his case.
In agreeing to release him, they cited his lack of a prior conviction, the low risk that he might commit another crime, his community support and his release plans.
During the more than hour-long hearing, Simpson forcefully insisted as he has all along that he was only trying to retrieve items that belonged to him and never meant to hurt anyone.
'DONE MY TIME'
"I've done my time. I've done it as well and respectfully as I think anybody can," he said.
He made his plea for freedom in a room at the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada as four parole commissioners in Carson City, a two-hour drive away, questioned him via video.
He laughed at one point as the parole board chairwoman mistakenly gave his age as 90.
The Hall of Fame athlete's chances of winning release were considered good, given similar cases and Simpson's model behaviour behind bars.
His defenders have argued, too, that his sentence was out of proportion to the crime and that he was being punished for the two murders he was acquitted of during the 1995 'Trial of the Century' in Los Angeles, the stabbings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Before the hearing concluded, one of the dealers Simpson robbed, Bruce Fromong, said the former football great never pointed a gun at him during the confrontation. He said Simpson deserved to be released.
"He is a good man. He made a mistake," Fromong said, adding the two remain friends.
Simpson's eldest child, 48-year-old Arnelle Simpson, also testified on his behalf, saying her father is not perfect but realises what a mistake he made and has spent years paying for it.
"We just want him to come home, we really do," she said.