O.J. Simpson, will get a chance to turn his life around, again, after spending nearly a decade in prison for an armed robbery in Las Vegas. The storied football player and accused murderer was granted parole today (July 20) after a often emotional hearing.
Simpson, 70, wearing prison issue garb sat at a barren table in a sparsely furnished room at the Lovelock Correction Center to learn his fate.
After a hearing that lasted most of the day, the four-members Nevada Parole Board voted unanimously for release him no later than October.
Simpson was accompanied by his lawyer Malcolm LaVergne, close friend Tom Scotto, sister Shirley Baker, and daughter Arnelle with slain wife Nicole Brown Simpson.
Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murder of his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman.
Simpson did most of the talking during the hearing as he answered questions about the night in question.
“I am no danger, never pulled a gun on anybody. I never have in my life. Never been accused of it in my life. Nobody’s ever accused me of pulling any weapon on them and Bruce knows that I would never do that,” he said at one point. “I never have.”
Simpson noted with no small amount of irony that the state of California returned the property he tried to steal after an investigation.
“So I mean… it’s kind of mind-boggling that they turned over to me property that I’m in jail for for trying to retrieve. You know? It’s…it was my property. I wasn’t there to steal from anybody.”
During his time in prison, Simpson noted that he’d been asked many times to mediate conflicts between other inmates and cell gangs.
He was not only repentant in jail, but also penitent.
Simpson noted that he led a Baptist Church service and also manages the prison softball league.
“I wish this would have never happened. There’s nothing I can do about this media circus going on now, but if I made a better judgment back then none of this would have happened,” he said.
“I haven’t made any excuses in nine years here, but I should have never allowed these alleged sec guys help me because they were only there to help themselves,” he added.
Simpson’s daughter Arnelle served as a character witness. “He’s like my best friend and my rock,” she said.
“Throughout this ordeal, we have remained close. We have stayed strong and I, for myself, am grateful to god for giving us the strength to get through this last nine years and to stay positive always, no matter what,” she added.
Bruce Formong, who Simpson robbed that night, also spoke at the hearing and revealed he had forgiven him for the crime.
“I will make this clear to you, O.J. Never held a gun on me … Another man came in, hit me, not O.J. He never laid a hand on me,’ Formong testified.
Check out the video below.