Los Angeles - Disgraced
American football star O.J. Simpson, whose racially charged 1995 murder
trial riveted the nation, is expected to be released from prison as
early as Monday after nine years behind bars for armed robbery.
Simpson, 70, plans to relocate to Florida following his release from
the Lovelock Correctional Center, the medium-security prison in Nevada
where he has been serving his sentence, said his lawyer, Malcolm
"He is getting very, very excited," LaVergne told KTNV-TV in Las Vegas. "He's feeling very upbeat."
Simpson was granted parole at a hearing in July and his earliest
release date was set for October 1. Since that falls on a Sunday,
Simpson is expected to be freed no earlier than Monday, according to his
lawyer and media reports.
Simpson was found not guilty in 1995 of the grisly murders of his
ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and a male companion, Ron Goldman, in a
case that transfixed the country and became known as the "Trial of the
But the former National Football League running back and actor was
sent to prison in 2008 for his role in an armed robbery the previous
year of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas resort.
Simpson claimed at his trial that he was just seeking to recover
personal items from the dealers and he repeated that explanation at his
parole board hearing in July, where the four-member panel voted
unanimously for his release.
At that hearing Simpson initially did not express any remorse for his
actions but eventually offered that he was "sorry that things turned
out the way they did."
"I had no intent to commit a crime," he said. "If I would have made a
better judgment back then, none of this would have never happened."
LaVergne, Simpson's attorney, told KTNV-TV that the former NFL star
planned to relocate to Florida, play golf and be around his friends and
LaVergne said he did not anticipate that Simpson would pose any problems.
"He's had perfect performance as a prisoner," LaVergne said. "I anticipate he's going to have perfect performance as a parolee."
At the hearing, Simpson said he was "at a point in my life where all I
want to do is spend time, as much time as I can, with my children and
"Believe it or not I do have some real friends," he said.
convicted in October 2008 of armed robbery, assault, kidnapping and
other offenses after he and five associates - two of whom were armed -
ambushed the two sports memorabilia dealers in a casino hotel room.
He was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison and a maximum of 33 years.
Orenthal James "O.J." Simpson shot to fame in the 1970s with the
NFL's Buffalo Bills after winning the prestigious Heisman Trophy - the
award for the best player in American collegiate football - as a
running back at the University of Southern California.
He retired from football in 1979 after setting numerous rushing
records and went on to become an advertising pitchman and actor ("The
Towering Inferno," "The Naked Gun").
In June 1994, Simpson's 35-year-old ex-wife, Brown Simpson, and
Goldman were found stabbed to death outside her Los Angeles home.
Simpson was arrested after a low-speed car chase through Los Angeles
that was broadcast live by television stations and watched by millions.
He was acquitted in October 1995 after a nine-month trial, a verdict that was greeted with disbelief by many Americans.
Public views on the African-American athlete's guilt or innocence divided sharply along racial lines.
Simpson was subsequently found liable for the deaths in a 1997 civil
suit and was ordered to pay damages totaling $33.5 million to the
families of the victims.
Simpson has been out of the limelight while behind bars, but fascination with his story lives on.
"O.J.: Made in America," a nearly eight-hour documentary about his murder trial, won the best documentary Oscar in February.
And a television mini-series, "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" starring Cuba Gooding Jr, won nine Emmy awards.