LOVELOCK, Nev. — O.J. Simpson will be paroled after serving nine years in prison for a botched bid to retrieve sports memorabilia in Las Vegas.
A Nevada parole board decided Thursday that the 70-year-old former football, TV and movie star will be released in October after serving his minimum term for armed robbery and assault with a weapon.
Simpson responded emotionally, saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Four parole commissioners in Carson City questioned Simpson by videoconference from the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada. He has been held there since he was convicted in 2008.
The conviction came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murder in 1995 in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles.
During the parole hearing, one of the sports memorabilia dealers in the robbery that put Simpson in prison told a Nevada parole board that the former sports star apologized to him and he accepted it.
Bruce Fromong says he and Simpson have been friends for almost 27 years and that Simpson is not a threat. He says Simpson's nearly nine years behind bars is "way too long" and that it's time for him to go home to his family and friends.
He said Simpson is a good man and made a mistake. Turning to Simpson, Fromong said that if Simpson was released: "Juice I'll be here tomorrow for you."
A parole commissioner asked Simpson what he was thinking at the time of the robbery of sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas hotel.
After the question from Adam Endel on Thursday at a parole hearing, Simpson took a deep breath and says it could be a lengthy response.
He says he wasn't interested at first in memorabilia but saw that some of the items two collectors were selling belonged to him.
A hearing room at Nevada prison erupted in laughter after a parole commissioner said that O.J. Simpson was 90.
A burst of laughter followed the comment Thursday from Connie Bisbee, chairwoman of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, who then corrected herself that the former sports star was 70.
Simpson has spent more than eight years behind bars for armed robbery and assault with a weapon after trying to take back sports memorabilia in a budget hotel room in Las Vegas.
O.J. Simpson laughed as a parole commissioner told him that he was getting the same hearing as anyone else would.
He chuckled Thursday after the comment from Connie Bisbee, chairwoman of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, and said, "Thank you, ma'am."
The 70-year-old Simpson is asking four Nevada parole board members to release him in October. He has a good chance after they sided with him once before and because he's kept a clean prison record.
Simpson appeared thinner and grayer at his parole hearing than when he was last seen four years ago.