OJ Simpson has been granted parole after a hearing Thursday before the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners. The former football star and actor has been serving a 33-year prison sentence after he was convicted of robbery and kidnapping in 2008.
Simpson, 70, has been held at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada. He is now eligible to be released from prison on October 1, 2017.
All four parole board commissioners voted to grant Simpson parole.
Simpson became eligible for full parole for the first time this year. He previously was granted parole on some convictions after a 2013 hearing, but remained in prison because he was serving consecutive sentences. He was not in person at Thursday’s hearing, but did speak to the board and answer their questions via a video feed. No one testified against Simpson’s release, including the victims in the case.
“You organized this crime in which two victims were robbed at gunpoint. It was a serious crime, which there was no excuse for it. You deserved to go to prison,” said commissioner Corda. “You have complied with the rules of the prison, you have programmed in an acceptable manner, you have no prior record of criminal activity.”
Corda said he is also a low-risk to re-offend and he has community support.
“We believe that we’re a fair board, we believe that we’re a consistent board,” said Bisbee. “We do not look kindly on parole violations. And if I cast my vote to grant and it concludes the hearing, our expectation would be that you not violate even the simplest condition of parole.”
Bisbee then voted in favor of parole, closing the hearing with the unanimous vote.
Simpson earned credit for being a good prisoner while at Lovelock.
“Simpson has stayed out of trouble there,” said Brooke Keast, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Corrections, told CNN. “We haven’t heard much from him.”
Upon his release, Simpson will be under supervision from a parole officer, and could be returned to prison if he violates any of the conditions of his release. He has requested to live in Florida, but it will be up to Nevada parole officials to determine if he can make that move.
“I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don’t think you guys would want me here,” Simpson joked with the parole board.
“No comment,” chairman Connie Bisbee replied as Simpson laughed.
Simpson, according to court documents, broke into a Las Vegas hotel room on September 13, 2007, with the other men in an attempt to get back items he believed belonged to him. The room belonged to Bruce Fromong, a sports memorabilia dealer.
Fromong told police the men broke into the hotel room and stole various memorabilia at gunpoint. Simpson was arrested on September 16, 2007. He admitted to taking the items, but said they had been stolen from him. He has denied breaking into the room himself.
Simpson was found guilty in October 3, 2008, on charges of kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon, burglary, coercion, assault, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime. It was exactly 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murder.
Four other men involved in the case were given probation.
Fromong testified on Simpson’s behalf on Thursday, calling for his release.
“I’m not doing it because he’s my friend, which he is. I am doing (it) because (it’s) the right thing to do,” Fromong told CNN.
His oldest daughter, Arnelle Simpson, spoke on behalf of her family and father at the hearing.