O.J. Simpson was granted parole for some of the crimes for which he has been serving time in Nevada, but he still is not a free man.
After the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners granted parole for two kidnapping and two robbery convictions and one conviction for burglary with a firearm, the football legend still faces at least four more years behind bars for other charges that did not run concurrently.
Last week, Simpson, 66, told two members of the board that he has been a model prisoner and other inmates come to him to tell their stories and seek guidance.
Along with five other men, Simpson confronted two sports memorabilia dealers in a room at Las Vegas’ Palace Station Hotel and Casino on Sept. 13, 2007, brandishing weapons but not firing them.
Simpson told the parole board that his nearly five years in custody “have been somewhat illuminating at times and painful a lot of times.”
“I missed my two younger kids who worked hard getting through high school; I missed their college graduations,” he said, becoming emotional as he talked to the parole board members via closed-circuit TV from prison. “I missed my sister’s funeral. I missed all the birthdays.”
His oldest daughter and a prison official provided letters of support for Simpson, who is serving his time at Lovelock Correctional Center 90 miles from Reno.
The board granted parole because Simpson has an otherwise minimal criminal conviction record, because he has a ‘positive’ record in prison and because he has participated in programs that address the issues that put him in prison—also because he will remain in prison on other charges anyway.
“We expected it,” Patricia Palm, one of Simpson’s current lawyers, said of the decision. “There is no reason not to grant him parole. I’m glad they did what they should have done.”
Palm said Simpson called her from prison to inform her of his parole.
“He’s very happy and grateful,” she said.