Saturday, December 16News That Matters

OJ Simpson released from Nevada prison after serving nine years for robbery


O.J. Simpson is a free man after being released from a Nevada prison early Sunday morning after serving nine years for armed robbery and kidnapping.

Nevada state prisons spokeswoman Brooke Keast told CBS News that Simpson was released at 12:08 a.m. PDT from Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada, and that the early-morning release was done to avoid media attention.

“We needed to do this to ensure public safety and to avoid any possible incident,” she told CBS News, adding she did not know where he would go.

Simpson, the former football star and celebrity, was famously acquitted in 1995 of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman, in what became known as the Trial of the Century. He had been sentenced to up to 33 years for his armed robbery conviction, but was granted parole in July due to good behavior. He faces parole supervision for another five years.

Where Simpson goes next remains unclear. His attorney had previously stated that he was looking forward to returning to Florida, but Florida doesn’t want the fallen football star. On Friday, State Attorney General Pam Bondi sent a letter to the Florida Department of Corrections insisting that the agency tell Nevada that Simpson isn’t welcome.

“Floridians are well aware of Mr. Simpson’s background, his wanton disregard for the lives of others, and of his scofflaw attitude with respect to the heinous acts for which he has been found civilly liable,” Bondi said in the letter, according to the New York Post. “Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal.”

Simpson moved to Florida after being found liable in civil court for the killings of his ex-wife and Goldman and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and Goldman’s family. ESPN’s Darren Rovell has postulated that Simpson may have made over $600,000 while incarcerated at Lovelock Prison in Nevada. It was estimated that Simpson was worth approximately $10.8 million when he and Nicole Brown Simpson divorced in 1992. That would equate to about $19 million as of May 2017.

Now that Simpson has been paroled, that $600,000 will be his to keep, and cannot go toward the $33.5 million, which now amounts to about $65 million, according to a Goldman family lawyer. As Rovell explains, this is due to NFL pensions being protected by state law.

Simpson apologized for the botched hotel-room heist that sent him to prison in Nevada, but stated in court that he wasn’t stealing since the items belonged to him. He also made the curious statement to the judge that, “I’ve basically spent a conflict-free life.”  

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