Prime News Ghana

O.J. Simpson walks out of Nevada prison after 9 years

O.J. Simpson
O.J. Simpson
facebook sharing button Share
twitter sharing button Tweet
email sharing button Email
sharethis sharing button Share

O.J. Simpson walked out of prison early Sunday after serving nine years for a Las Vegas armed robbery and kidnapping.

The former NFL star left prison shortly after midnight local time and was picked up by a friend, according to Brooke Keast, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Corrections.

"I told him, 'don't 'come back,' and he responded, 'I don't intend to, '" she said. "He was upbeat, personable and seemed happy to get on with his life."

Simpson, 70, was freed in the middle of the night to give him privacy.
"Our biggest concern was our safety and the public's safety and not wanting anybody, paparazzi, to follow him," Keast said. "He left through a big blue door through the front gatehouse and exited quietly. He looked down because he didn't want to be photographed."

Meeting with parole officer

Before his release, prison officials did an inventory of what he wanted to take with him or leave behind. He walked out of prison with paperwork and "three or four boxes about the size of a microwave," according to Keast.
Inside the boxes were items such as a hot plate, clothing and shower shoes, she said.
Simpson also met with one person who'll become a fixture in his after-prison life: His parole officer.
"They went over what he needs for parole and where he needs to check in, what he should do to get a driver's license, et cetera [and] instructions on what to do once he's out there," she said.

No convicts, no alcohol

The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners voted unanimously to grant Simpson's release in July. Simpson served nine years of a 33-year sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery after a raid on memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas Hotel room.

He has maintained that he was trying to recover family mementoes and memorabilia taken from him.
After he was granted parole, the Nevada Department of Corrections took extra measures to protect him. Guards moved him to a single cell away from the rest of the prison population.

"The last thing we want is some prisoner trying to make a name for himself by attacking Simpson," Keast said.
While out of prison, Simpson won't have the liberty to consume alcohol in large quantities or hang out with ex-convicts. The Nevada Board of Parole forbids parolees from associating with convicted felons and people who engage in criminal activity or possessing guns and drugs. Alcohol abuse can get a parolee hauled back to prison.

"You are permitted to consume alcoholic beverages but not to excess," the conditions of parole supervision read. "You shall submit to a medically recognized test for blood/breath content. Test results of .08 alcohol or higher shall be sufficient proof of excess."
Simpson received a bad score on his parole risk assessment guideline, in the drug/alcohol abuse category, with the document citing him for "frequent abuse, serious disruption of functioning."
He testified that he had been drinking alcohol the day of the raid on memorabilia dealers that led to his arrest and conviction.

Simpson's rise and fall

Simpson spent a lifetime in the limelight -- first for his athletic prowess, charm and good looks, then as part of an American tragedy after he was accused of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in Los Angeles.

He pleaded "100% not guilty" and assembled a team of famous local and national lawyers, including civil rights attorney Johnnie Cochran. He was acquitted in 1995.

The victims' families filed a suit for wrongful death. Two years after his acquittal, he was ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages.