O.J. Simpson was granted parole on Wednesday on several charges related to his role in the robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel, but the former football star will remain in prison at least until 2017 on other charges.
A Pro Football Hall of Fame running back who played for the Buffalo Bills team, Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of two counts of murder in the stabbing and slashing deaths in Los Angeles of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. He later lost a wrongful death case that was brought by the victims' families.
In 2008, Simpson was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison in the Las Vegas case, but that sentence could be reduced if he wins future parole hearings and is given credit for good behavior.
The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners said it was granting Simpson parole on charges of kidnapping, robbery and burglary with a firearm because of his positive conduct while in prison, his participation in programs for inmates, his lack of prior convictions and the fact that he has other sentences to serve that will keep him in prison.
Simpson, 66, asked for parole from Lovelock Correctional Facility during a video conference with a parole commissioner last week. It was his first parole request since his 2008 sentencing.
In the hearing, he said that during the robbery he was trying to retrieve property that he believed belonged to him. And he told the parole commissioner that while behind bars, "I missed my two younger kids, for the most part, getting through high school."
In 2007, Simpson and five other men entered a room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and at gun point took thousands of dollars worth of memorabilia related to his career and murder trial from a pair of sports collectors.
Simpson, who is serving consecutive sentences, received additional time on his sentence because two of his associates had guns during the robbery. He will next have the opportunity to request parole on that sentencing enhancement in 2014.
Even if he wins that round, he will have to serve time for assault with a deadly weapon related to the Las Vegas incident, said David Smith, a spokesman for the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners.
If Simpson were successful in future parole requests, he would not be released from prison before 2017, Smith said.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Scott Malone, Toni Reinhold)