O.J. Simpson Freed on Parole: Nevada Prison Officials

Reuters
By Reuters
October 1, 2017USshare
O.J. Simpson Freed on Parole: Nevada Prison Officials
O.J. Simpson reacts during his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada on July 20, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Bean/Pool/File Photo)

Onetime “Trial of the Century” defendant O.J. Simpson was released early on Sunday from the Nevada prison where he had been held since 2008 for a botched armed robbery at a Las Vegas casino hotel, prison officials said.

The Nevada Department of Corrections posted a seven-second video on Facebook showing Simpson being released, which officials said occurred at 12:08 a.m. local time.

The midnight timing was “in an effort to ensure public safety and reduce the potential for incident,” the department of corrections said in a brief statement that accompanied the video and a photo showing Simpson signing some papers.

Simpson‘s attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, said by text message on Sunday morning, “All information related to Simpson‘s whereabouts is confidential until (Monday) at the earliest.”

Simpson wore a blue baseball-style cap, blue jeans, and a blue jeans jacket and white sneakers as he walked through a door to freedom after a woman who appears to be a prison guard says, “Here you go. Come on out.”

Another prison guard, a man, says something inaudible to which Simpson, walking away and not turning back to address him, said, “OK.”

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Former football legend O.J. Simpson signs documents at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Sept. 30, 2017. (Brooke Keast/Nevada Department of Corrections via AP)

Simpson, 70, won his freedom from a Nevada parole board in July after nine years behind bars, at a hearing that did not take into account his 1990s trial for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and a friend, Ron Goldman.

Simpson, a former pro football star turned actor and TV pitchman, was found not guilty in 1995 following his sensational, 13-month trial in Los Angeles, which was televised live daily, transfixing much of the country.

A civil court jury subsequently found him liable for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages to the victims’ families, a judgment that remains largely unpaid.

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Former U.S. football player and actor O.J. Simpson looking at a new pair of Aris extra-large gloves that prosecutors had him put on during his double-murder trial in Los Angeles on June 21, 1995. (VINCE BUCCI/AFP/Getty Images)
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In this Oct. 3, 1995 file photo, O.J. Simpson reacts as he is found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, at the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles. (Myung J. Chun/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Simpson‘s ultimate destination remains unclear. He told parole board members he hopes to move to Florida, where he has friends and family, a plan that must be approved by probation authorities there.

Florida corrections officials say they had not received a parole transfer request for Simpson and had not been contacted by their counterparts in Nevada.

Simpson is a native of California, born in San Francisco, and played his final years as a pro football player for that city’s team, the 49ers. He lived in Los Angeles at the time of the murders.

But California corrections officials say he has not filed papers to live in that state either.

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In this July 20, 2017, file photo, former NFL football star O.J. Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool, File)

At his parole hearing, Simpson, known during his football career as the “Juice”, said he was ready to spend time with his children and friends outside prison and could handle the public attention he would get.

Among reasons the commissioners gave for their decision was that Simpson had complied with prison rules during his incarceration, had no prior criminal convictions and posed a minimal safety risk to the public.

Simpson won the Heisman Trophy, the award for the top college football player, in 1968 while attending the University of Southern California. He played more than a decade in the National Football League, most of that time for the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo, New York. While playing for the Bills, he became the first player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season.

Reuters

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In this 1969 file photo, shows O.J. Simpson, football player for the Buffalo Bills. (AP Photo/File)
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In this Dec. 16, 1979 file photo, San Francisco 49ers running back O.J. Simpson is escorted from the field by police after the final NFL football game of his career against in the Atlanta Falcons at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. (AP Photo, File)
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