O.J. Simpson Hearing: 'I Vote to Grant Your Parole' - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

O.J. Simpson Hearing: 'I Vote to Grant Your Parole'

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Photo by: Jason Bean Photo by: Jason Bean
LOVELOCK, NV (FOX5/AP) -

A Nevada Parole Board granted O.J. Simpson's request for freedom Thursday at a highly publicized parole hearing. The former football star and convicted felon commanded the world's attention as he asked parole officials to release him early in October when he will have served the minimum nine years.

The 70-year-old was serving a 33-year sentence for an armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room back in 2008. 

Simpson told a parole board that he is sorry "that things turned out the way they did" and he had no intent to commit a crime. He added that he would be no problem and would like to get back to friends and family. He said he has been humbled by his incarceration and he's never made any excuses during his years in prison. 

Simpson also told a parole board that he doesn't think he has an alcohol problem but he has acknowledged that he had been drinking on the day of the robbery. He participated in an alcohol program, which he said would be more valuable in keeping an eye on his children. Simpson also told the board that an alternative-to-violence course was one of the most important lessons he learned behind bars and he often mediated conflict among inmates. 

Malcolm Lavergne, Simpson's attorney, read a letter from his client to Nevada State Assemblyman Ozzie Fumo to thank him for providing educational materials to the prison where the former football star has been housed. He added that the education provided behind bars helped him learn new skills, citing a computer course he took. He said it would allow him to better communicate with his children and could even help him do a webcast or blog in the future. 

Simpson's daughter, Arnelle Simpson, also testified at the hearing. She tearfully told the parole board that she wanted him to come home. She called her father her best friend and said he is remorseful for the crime. She said her family knows he is not perfect but he has done the best that he can. 

One of the sports memorabilia dealers in the robbery, Bruce Fromong, told the parole board that Simpson apologized to him and he accepted it. Fromong said he has been friends with Simpson for 27 years and he is not a threat, adding nine years was way too long to be behind bars. During his testimony, Fromong said Simpson was misled about what was going to be at the Las Vegas hotel for him to recover. Fromong told Simpson if he was released, "Juice, I'll be here for you tomorrow."

The parole board said Simpson requested to live in Florida if he is released from prison. Simpson added, "I could easily stay in Nevada but I don't think you guys want me here." The board also said it received hundreds of letters of support and opposition to his release from prison. Parole Board Commissioner Susan Jackson said the opposition letters requested the board to 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 the civil court decision that found him liable for the deaths, but Jackson said the board would not take that into account. 

Simpson made headlines on the football field but the Heisman-winner became infamous after he was implicated in his ex-wife's murder in 1994. He was acquitted of all charges after a highly publicized trial.

More than 20 years later, Simpson drew the spotlight as his appearance before the Nevada Parole Board was broadcast live by every major outlet.

FOX5 was live on location with legal expert Bob Massi and reporter Cyndi Lundeberg, and FOX5 Reporter Miguel Martinez Valle captured local reaction from viewers in Las Vegas.

Stay with FOX5 for continued updates.

Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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