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OJ Simpson freed to parole after 9 years for Vegas robbery

  • Former football star O.J. Simpson signs documents at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. on Saturday night. He was released early Sunday. AP

  • FILE - 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. 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. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool, File) Jason Bean

  • FILE - In this Thursday, July 20, 2017, file photo, former NFL football star O.J. Simpson enters his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool, File) Jason Bean

  • FILE - In this July 20, 2017 file photo, former NFL football star O.J. Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole during a hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. Simpson was granted parole after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool, File) Jason Bean

  • FILE - In this May 14, 2013, file photo, O.J. Simpson appears at an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (Ethan Miller via AP, Pool, File) Ethan Miller

  • FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2008, file photo, O.J. Simpson speaks during his sentencing hearing at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. Sitting right to Simpson is his lawyer Yale Galanter. Simpson was sentenced Friday to at least 15 years in prison for a hotel armed robbery after a judge rejected his apology and said, "It was much more than stupidity." A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, Pool, File) Isaac Brekken

  • FILE - In this July 20, 2017, file photo, former NFL football star O.J. Simpson enters for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool, File) Jason Bean

  • FILE - In this May 14, 2013, pool file photo, O.J. Simpson sits during a break on the second day of an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas. Simpson, the former football star, TV pitchman and now Nevada prison inmate, will have a lot going for him when he appears before state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017 seeking his release after more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (AP Photo/Ethan Miller, Pool, File) Ethan Miller

  • FILE - This July 20, 2017 file photo shows former NFL football star O.J. Simpson at his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev. Simpson was granted parole after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool, File) Jason Bean

  • FILE - In this 1969 file photo, shows O.J. Simpson, football player for the Buffalo Bills. 1969: The first pick in the pro draft, Simpson goes to the Buffalo Bills and spends the next nine seasons with the team. O.J. Simpson's release from a Nevada prison turns another page in one of the most dramatic falls from grace in American pop culture history. A beloved college and pro football hero in the 1960s and '70s, Simpson went on to become a movie star, sports commentator and TV pitchman in the years before the 1994 killings of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (AP Photo/File)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 1, 1978. file photo, O.J. Simpson of the San Francisco 49ers is shown on the field drinking water in San Francisco. O.J. Simpson's release from a Nevada prison turns another page in one of the most dramatic falls from grace in American pop culture history. A beloved college and pro football hero in the 1960s and '70s, Simpson went on to become a movie star, sports commentator and TV pitchman in the years before the 1994 killings of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (AP Photo, File)

  • FILE - 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. At left is defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey and at right is defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. Defense attorney Robert Shapiro is in profile behind them. On Oct. 3, 1995: Simpson is acquitted of murder. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (Myung J. Chun/Pool Photo via AP, File) Myung J. Chun

  • FILE - In this Nov. 9, 1968 file photo, Southern California's O.J. Simpson (32) runs against California during a college football game in Los Angeles. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy at Southern California in 1968. Simpson will have a lot going for him when he asks state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017, to release him after serving more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. (AP Photo/HF, File) HF

  • FILE - 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. Simpson retired from football after the 1979 season, later being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and beginning careers in acting and football broadcasting. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (AP Photo, File)



Associated Press
Sunday, October 01, 2017

Former football great O.J. Simpson became a free man Sunday after serving nine years for a botched hotel room heist that brought prison time he avoided after his 1995 acquittal in the killings of his ex-wife and her friend.

Simpson was released at 12:08 a.m. Pacific time from Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada, state prisons spokeswoman Brooke Keast told the Associated Press. She said she didn’t know immediately where Simpson was headed, adding that an unidentified driver met him and took him to an undisclosed location.

“I don’t have any information on where he’s going,” said Keast, who watched Simpson in blue jeans, denim jacket and ball cap signing documents before his release.

Her department released a brief video on social media of Simpson being told to “come on out” by a prison staffer. He responded “OK,” walked through an open door and into the pre-dawn darkness just minutes into the first day a parole board set for his possible release.

Tom Scotto, a Simpson friend who lives in Naples, Fla., said by text message an hour later that he was with Simpson, but did not answer texts asking where they were going or whether members of Simpson’s family were with them.

Along with Simpson’s sister and daughter, Scotto had attended the July parole hearing at the same prison where Simpson served his time.

Simpson has said he wanted to move back to Florida, where he lived before his armed robbery conviction in Las Vegas in a September 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers. But Florida prison officials indicated Sunday morning his return did not appear imminent.

Florida’s Corrections Department “has not received any transfer paperwork from Nevada” about Simpson, spokeswoman Ashley Cook said.

Though Florida’s attorney general has urged the department to object to Simpson’s return, the department previously has said it would be required to accept a transfer if the request met certain criteria.

Simpson’s attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, and state Parole and Probation Capt. Shawn Arruti, who has been handling Simpson’s case, did not respond to messages Sunday seeking comment.

LaVergne said recently that Simpson was looking forward to reuniting with his family, eating a steak and some seafood and moving back to Florida. Simpson also plans to get an iPhone and get reacquainted with technology that was in its infancy when he was sent to prison in 2008, his attorney said.

Keast said the overnight release from the prison about 90 miles east of Reno, Nevada, was conducted to avoid media attention.

“We needed to do this to ensure public safety and to avoid any possible incident,” Keast added.

The 70-year-old Simpson gains his freedom after being granted parole in July. He faces restrictions during up to five years of parole supervision and is unlikely to escape public scrutiny as the man who morphed from charismatic football hero, movie star and TV personality into suspected killer and convicted armed robber.

Nevada authorities said Simpson cannot use illegal drugs and can drink alcohol only if the amount he drinks is below Nevada’s blood-alcohol limit for driving.

He also is prohibited from associating with felons or anyone who Nevada officials prohibit him contacting. He must tell the state where he’ll be living and when he changes his residence. The conditions apply if Simpson ends up out of state.

Simpson lost his home near Miami to foreclosure in 2012. But two of his children, Justin and Sydney, also live in Florida.

He could live at least temporarily in Las Vegas, where a friend let Simpson use his home for five weeks during his robbery trial.

His five years of parole supervision could be reduced with credits for good behavior.