LOCKLOVE, NV – Former football star and convicted felon O.J. Simpson was granted parole on Thursday in Lovelock, Nev., after serving almost nine years of a 33-year sentence on robbery charges.The four-person parole board unanimously voted to release Simpson.By virtue of the decision, Simpson could be out of prison as early as Oct. 1.Simpson was convicted in 2008 of an armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. The 70-year-old served the minimum sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center, about 90 miles northeast of Reno, Nev.”I’ve spent nine years making no excuses about anything. I am sorry that things turned out the way they did,” Simpson said in his closing remarks Thursday. “I had no intent to commit a crime. … I’ve done my time. I’d just like to get back to my family and friends believe it or not, I do have some real friends and I tried to be helpful to everybody.”Appearing as inmate No. 1027820, Simpson was accompanied by lawyer Malcolm LaVergne, prison caseworker Marc La Fleur, close friend Tom Scotto, sister Shirley Baker and daughter Arnelle Simpson.Simpson said at the time of his arrest that he was attempting to retrieve his own personal sports memorabilia that was stolen from him sometime in the mid-1990s.Simpson was acquitted in the killings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1995, in what many called “the trial of the century.” Simpson was a highly popular figure prior to the brutal knife-slashing killings in 1994 but the Pro Football Hall of Famer was infamous after the verdicts despite being found not guilty. The Brown and Goldman families won a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Simpson in 1997, awarding them $33.5 million. The families have reportedly received less than a million dollars.Simpson was a college football star at USC and was perhaps the top running back in the NFL in the 1970s while starring for the Buffalo Bills.Interest in Simpson’s life and fall from grace was reignited in the past year with the Academy Award-winning ESPN documentary OJ: Made in America, and a popular FX drama series American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.
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