Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson appears with his attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, left, via video for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier. (Lovelock Correctional Center via AP)
Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
CARSON CITY, Nev.
The Nevada Parole Board voted unanimously Thursday to grant former football star O.J. Simpson parole in his 2008 conviction on charges including kidnapping and armed robbery.
The decision came down Thursday after Simpson, 70, spoke before the Nevada Parole Board, telling the four-person panel he was remorseful for his actions in 2007.
“I haven’t made any excuses in the nine years I’ve been here, and I’m not trying to make an excuse now,” he said.
Simpson was sentenced to 33 years behind bars for his part in a 2007 armed robbery at a Las Vegas hotel room. He was found guilty on a dozen charges, including kidnapping.
Simpson claimed he confronted a pair of memorabilia collectors, Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, in 2007 in an attempt to recover items that had been stolen from him, according to The Associated Press. Among the mementos and memorabilia he hoped to recover were family photos and his first wife’s wedding ring.
Fromong spoke Thursday in favor of Simpson’s release and said he and Simpson had long ago made peace.
“We all make mistakes,” Fromong said. “O.J. made his. He’s been here and from what I’ve been told he’s been a model inmate. He’s been an example to others.”
Simpson had no disciplinary issues while behind bars and took numerous classes, according to testimony before the parole board. Simpson said he took a conflict resolution course that made a particular impact on him and said he had been called in to mediate issues between other inmates at the Lovelock Correction Center.
Nevada Board of Parole commissioner Susan Jackson held up thick stacks of letters at Thursday’s hearing, some of the hundreds of letters she said the board had received from Simpson’s supporters and detractors. Many of the letters mentioned Simpson’s 1995 acquittal in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
Jackson said the case would not be considered in Thursday’s deliberations.
Parole board commissioner Connie Bisbee said Simpson has plans to resettle in Florida, where he was living before his 2008 conviction.
Officials in Florida said in a statement that “if Nevada’s request meets all criteria, Florida must accept the transfer.”
“As is the case with any offender who transfers under this routine procedure, he will be assigned a Florida probation officer and will be supervised in accordance with the conditions of his parole,” said Michelle Glady, director of communications for the Florida Department of Corrections.
Simpson in 2013 was granted parole on the armed robbery conviction. Thursday’s hearing addressed the other 11 charges from his 2008 conviction, according to USA Today.
Simpson, a former football running back who has appeared in nearly two dozen movies and television shows, was found not guilty of murder in 1995 after Brown and Goldman were found stabbed to death outside Brown’s Los Angeles townhouse. The case, which captivated TV audiences around the globe, was dubbed the “Trial of the Century.”