Former American football star OJ Simpson has been granted parole after nine years in a Nevada prison.
Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.
Simpson at his murder trial in June 1995. The former American football star was cleared of two counts of murder.
“I’ve done my time. I’ve done it as well and respectfully as I think anybody can,” the 70-year-old former actor said in a nationally televised hearing in Nevada.
Simpson said he never pointed a gun at anyone nor made any threats during the crime that put him in prison, and he forcefully insisted that nearly all the mementos he saw in two memorabilia dealers’ hotel room belonged to him.
“In no way, shape or form did I wish them any harm,” he added, saying he later made amends with those in the room,” he added.
Simpson could be free as early as October 1 when he will have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year armed-robbery sentence.
His defenders had argued his sentence was out of proportion to the crime and that he was being punished for the two murders he was acquitted of during his 1995 “Trial of the Century” in Los Angeles, the stabbings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
An electrifying running back dubbed “The Juice,” Simpson won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best college football player in 1968 and went on to become one of the NFL’s all-time greats.
The handsome and charismatic athlete was also a “Monday Night Football” commentator, sprinted through airports in Hertz rental-car commercials and built a Hollywood career with roles in the “Naked Gun” comedies and other movies.
All of that came crashing down with his arrest in the 1994 slayings and his trial, a gavel-to-gavel live-TV sensation that transfixed viewers with its testimony about the bloody glove that didn’t fit and stirred furious debate over racist police, celebrity justice and cameras in the courtroom.
In 1997, Simpson was found liable in civil court for the two killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and the Goldman family.
Then a decade later, he and five accomplices – two with guns – stormed a hotel room and seized photos, plaques and signed balls, some of which never belonged to Simpson, from two sports memorabilia dealers.
Simpson was convicted in 2008, and the long prison sentence brought a measure of satisfaction to some of those who thought he got away with murder.
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