Las Vegas

OJ Simpson Granted Parole in Nevada Robbery

A visibly grayer and thinner O.J. Simpson appeared before Nevada parole commissioners Thursday morning and was granted parole, making him eligible to leave prison in October.

Simpson, now 70, has served nearly nine years of a 33-year sentence for a 2008 armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in a budget Las Vegas hotel room.

Among the people to tesify on Simpson's behalf was one of the two victims in the case.

Bruce Fromong says he and Simpson have been friends for almost 27 years and that Simpson is not a threat. He says Simpson's nearly nine years behind bars is "way too long" and that it's time for him to go home to his family and friends.

He said Simpson is a good man and made a mistake. Turning to Simpson, Fromong said that if Simpson was released: "Juice, I'll be here tomorrow for you."

Simpson's attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, daughter Arnelle Simpson, sister Shirley Baker and close friend Tom Scotto arrived at the visiting area at Lovelock Correctional Center on Thursday morning in a show of support.

At the start of the hearing, Simpson laughed after Connie Bisbee, chairwoman of the Board of Parole Commissioners, told him that he would be getting the same hearing as anyone else would.

In response to a question from commissioner Adam Endel, Simpson said he didn't make any excuses during his nine years behind bars and has no intention of making them during his parole hearing.

The former sports star described what led up to an armed robbery at a Las Vegas hotel, saying he never pointed a gun at anyone or made any threats during the crime that put him in prison.

"I haven't made any excuses in the nine years that I have been here, and I'm not trying to make any excuse now. They were there because of me, but in no way, shape or form did I wish them harm," he said.

Simpson strongly stated Thursday that almost all the sports memorabilia items he saw in a collector's Las Vegas hotel room belonged to him.

He also said he was not aware that one of his companions pulled a gun.

Simpson said he had apologized to one of the memorabilia dealers, who was a friend, and that his apology had been accepted.

"His family knows that I wouldn't wish any harm on these guys, ever, these guys are friends of mine and I would like to think we’re friends again."

Simpson's eldest daughter, Arnelle, spoke at the hearing on his behalf, telling the board that while he is not perfect, she believes he has done the best he can.

Also during the hearing, commissioners noted that Simpson has asked to live in Florida with family if he is released.

Simpson then said, laughing, "I could easily stay in Nevada but I don't think you guys want me here."

Connie Bisbee, the chairwoman, responded, "No comment here."

Commissioner Susan Jackson said the board received hundreds of letters in support and opposition to the parole. Many of the letters requested the board take into account the 1995 acquittal of Simpson on murder charges in the death of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman as well as a civil court decision that found him liable for their deaths.

Jackson said the board would not take that into account.

The Associated Press and NBCLA staff contributed to this report.

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