NEVADA — O.J. Simpson may be one step closer to becoming a free man.
Simpson will have a July 20 hearing before the Nevada Board of Parole to decide whether he will be released from prison, according to parole board spokesman David Smith. If paroled, he could be released as early as October, Smith said.
The former football star has served nine years in prison at Lovelock Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in the Nevada desert.
Perhaps the nation’s most famous inmate, Simpson is serving a nine-to-33-year sentence for his role in a 2007 incident in a Las Vegas hotel room. He and an associate were convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon after prosecutors argued they tried to steal pieces of Simpson sports memorabilia at gunpoint.
At his 2008 sentencing, Simpson said he was trying to reclaim family heirlooms and other personal items that had been taken from him. He claims he didn’t know his associates were armed.
Simpson is no stranger to lengthy legal proceedings. In 1995, he was famously acquitted of murder charges in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman in what was often referred to as the “trial of the century.”
Simpson’s legal team has argued that his sentence for the 2007 Las Vegas incident does not match the crime. They said it was a dose of payback for his 1995 acquittal.
Simpson, 69, has already had parole hearings in 2013 and 2014. At the 2013 hearing he was granted parole on some of his offenses.
The parole board will weigh several factors in deciding whether to release Simpson. According to Nevada defense attorney Dan Hill, Simpson fits the profile of an inmate who would receive parole at the first opportunity.
“Simpson’s age, the fact that he was given parole on the first sentencing batch, weigh in his favor,” Hill said. “So does the fact that he was by all accounts a model prisoner, as does any acceptance of responsibility for his actions.”
A video of the 2013 hearing shows Simpson pleading with parole commissioners.
“My crime was trying to retrieve for my family my own property that was stolen from me,” he said. “I wish I had never gone to that room. I wish I had just said keep it and not worry about it.”