O.J. Simpson was released from a Nevada prison early Sunday after serving nine years for a 2007 armed robbery of sports memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas.
Simpson, whose 1995 murder trial in Los Angeles captivated the nation, was paroled only minutes after he first became eligible for release, Nevada prison officials told media outlets.
The 70-year-old former USC and Buffalo Bills football star left the Lovelock Correctional Center northeast of Reno at 12:08 a.m.
During his nationally broadcast parole hearing, Simpson appeared far older and subdued than before he entered prison.
The Nevada Department of Corrections said he was released in the early hours of the morning “in an effort to ensure public safety and reduce the potential for incident.”
Numerous national media outlets had reporters on the scene awaiting the release, but apparently Simpson was able to avoid the glare of publicity with his early morning release.
Simpson has said he wants to move back to Florida, where he lived before his armed robbery conviction. He will face up to five years of parole supervision.
Simpson had been a movie, TV and Heisman Trophy winning football star before begin accused of the bloody stabbing murder of his wife, Nicole, and her acquaintance.
A famous “slow-speed chase” that was televised resulted in his arrest, and his “trial of the century” was broadcast live to millions of rapt viewers across the nation. Even though he was acquitted, significant portions of the population believed he was guilty.
Two years later a civil jury found him responsible for the killings and ordered him to pay $33.5 million to survivors of the murders.
In 2007 he went with five men into a Las Vegas hotel trying to retrieve what he said were stolen items. Two of the men carried handguns, but Simpson denied knowing anyone was armed.
Nevertheless, Simpson this time was convicted.
TV and film depictions of his life recently revived popular interest in Simpson who now will be under parole supervision for five years.
— Staff and wire reports
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