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O.J. Simpson will be a free man once again later this year after a Nevada board decided Thursday to grant him parole.
Simpson has been behind bars for the past nine years for a 2007 holdup at a Las Vegas hotel.After the board granted him parole Simpson broke down in tears. He will be eligible for release as soon as Oct. 1.
During Thursday’s hearing, Simpson, 70, faced a large flat-screen video monitor at Lovelock Correctional Center and answered questions via closed-circuit video from the parole board. Simpson told the board he didn’t make any excuses during his nine years behind bars and has no intention of making them during his parole hearing.
The former sports star described what led up to an armed robbery at a Las Vegas hotel, saying he never pointed a gun at anyone or made any threats during the crime that put him in prison. Simpson strongly stated that almost all the sports memorabilia items he saw in a collector’s Las Vegas hotel room belonged to him.
The parole board says O.J. Simpson has requested to live in Florida if he is released from prison.
Simpson then said, laughing, "I could easily stay in Nevada but I don't think you guys want me here."
The chairwoman of the parole commissioner said, "No comment here." Parole commissioners say he applied to live with family in Florida.
Arnelle Simpson, O.J.’s oldest child, also addressed the board on behalf of her family and said she has remained close to her father throughout his incarceration.
“We just want him to come home,” Arnelle Simpson described. She added that she knows her father is remorseful, and the family wants him home so they can move forward. She called her father her best friend and her rock.
The Nevada parole board said it’s received hundreds of letters of support and opposition related to this case. Parole Commissioner Susan Jackson said Thursday that the opposition letters requested the board take into account his 1995 acquittal on murder charges in the death of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman as well as a civil court decision that found him liable for the deaths.
The O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995 lasted eight months. Thursday’s parole hearing lasted a little more than an hour before the board broke for deliberations.
“I am sorry that things turned out the way they did. I had no intent to commit a crime,” Simpson said during his closing remarks.
“I thought I was glad to get my stuff back, but it wasn’t worth it,” he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.