OJ Simpson was handed a small victory Wednesday when a board granted him parole on some charges in connection with his sentence for a 2008 kidnapping and armed robbery at a Las Vegas hotel room.
The decision doesn't mean the 66-year-old Simpson, convicted in the 2007 holdup invovling sports memorabilia dealers at the Palace Station Hotel, will be leaving prison. He was convicted on multiple charges, so the former NFL star still faces at least four more years in prison on sentences that were ordered to run consecutively.
An attorney for Simpson told the Associated Press Simpson is "very happy and grateful."
"We expected it," Patricia Palm, one of Simpson's current lawyers, told The Associated Press. "There is no reason not to grant him parole. I'm glad they did what they should have done."
The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners on Wednesday released an order approving Simpson's request for parole. Simpson appeared on a live video feed before a two-member parole panel last Thursday to plead for leniency and expressed regret for his actions.
He told the panel he has been a model inmate.
Simpson still faces time for four weapon enhancement sentences, following by consecutive terms for two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. His parole becomes effective Oct. 2, but he will then begin serving the mimimum term on four concurrent sentences imposed for use of a weapon in the 2007 holdup.
He will have another parole hearing on those sentences in a year. After that, he has two more consecutive terms for assault with a deadly weapon, said David Smith, spokesman for the board.
His best chance at freedom still lies with Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell, who is considering whether he deserves a new trial. During a hearing in May, Simpson's current lawyers Patricia Palm and Ozzie Fumo argued his trial attorney, Yale Galanter, botched Simpson's defense and had a conflict of interest in the case.
The University of Southern California Heisman Trophy winner testified at the May hearing, something he did not do during the trial phase or during his 1995 murder trial in Los Angeles. Simpson told the court he was not aware two of the men in the group were carrying handguns when they went to retrieve items Simpson said he lost after his 1995 acquittal.
The judge in the May hearing has not indicated when she will issue a decision.
More Southern California Stories:
- Parole Board Hands OJ Simpson Small Victory
- School Board Member Attacked in Attempted Bicycle Theft
- Former Redlands Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sex Charges
- Man Fatally Shot at Sun Valley Collective
- Mountain Fire Fully Contained
- Boy Fatally Shot in Compton
- Parking Lot Camera Shows Missing Woman
- Firefighters Douse Sun Valley Structure Fire