Former football star/accused murderer OJ Simpson has been granted parole today (July 20, 2017).
Simpson was sentenced to prison following an arrest in 2007 during a botched robbery in Las Vegas, when he led a group of men into a hotel and casino to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint. He contended the memorabilia and other personal items belonged to him.
During the parole hearing, Simpson was at times jovial and combative with the four members of the board, expressing his remorse and saying he’s humbled by his incarceration.
Details + watch full video of OJ’s parole hearing below…
O.J. Simpson has been granted parole after nine years in prison for a Las Vegas robbery, a group of four Nevada commissioners decided today.
Simpson, 70, delivered a rambling account of the case to the parole board earlier today, maintaining that he didn’t intend to steal but “wish this would have never happened.”
VIDEO: OJ Simpson’s Parole Hearing (FULL)
**NOTE – Hearing begins around the 22:03 mark.
The former football star told the parole board, “I take full responsibility” and also said in his nine years behind bars, he’s been “a good guy.”
“I was always a good guy, but could have been a better Christian, and my commitment to change is to be a better Christian.”
He said he took an “alternative to violence” course in prison, calling it “the most important course anybody in this prison can take because it teaches you how to deal with conflict through conversation.”
“I had some problems with fidelity in my life, but I’ve always been a guy that pretty much got along with everybody,” he said.
Simpson said he’s missed 36 birthdays with his children while behind bars and missed their college graduations. Once released, he said he wants to spend as much time as he can with his family.
“No one really knows how much we have been through, this ordeal in the last nine years,” she said, noting that “he didn’t make the right decision” on the day of the robbery.
“We just want him to come home,” she said. “This has been really, truly hard. … I know that he is remorseful.”
On a related note, Bruce Fromong, one of the robbed memorabilia dealers and a victim in the case, spoke on Simpson’s behalf during the hearing. While Fromong admitted the hotel room contained items that belonged to Simpson, he said that on the day of the robbery, “Simpson was misguided.”
“He was led to believe that on that day, there were going to be thousands of pieces of his personal memorabilia, pictures of his wife from his first marriage, pictures of his kids. He was told there were going to be possibly his wife’s wedding ring, thousands of things. He was misled about what was going to be there that day.”
“O.J. never held a gun on me,” Fromong said. “O.J. is my friend, always has been, and I hope will remain my friend.”
The parole board members who voted for Simpson’s release cited his support in the community and stable plans after life in prison.
The decision was unanimous: Four out of four voted for his release. The imprisoned former NFL player could be released as early as Oct. 1st.
What are your thoughts about OJ being granted parole?