OJ Simpson loses cool as he begs to go free

OJ SIMPSON has been allowed to go free from jail, despite his parole hearing turning tense when he took exception to a line of questioning.

A four-person board granted the former American football star parole Thursday after a hearing that lasted a little over one hour.

He will be released on October 1 after serving nine of a 33-year jail sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery.

He was convicted of leading a group of four men - two of whom were armed - to storm a Las Vegas hotel in 2007 to steal a trove of sports memorabilia.

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectables sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.
Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectables sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier. Jason Bean - The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP

Simpson maintained on Thursday during his hearing in Lovelock, Nevada, that the items were actually belonged to him.

"It's kind of mind-boggling that [the state of California] turned over to me my property that I'm in jail for trying to retrieve it," Simpson said.

"It was my property; I would never try to steal from anybody."

Simpson's lawyer said the items included "intimate" family photographs and pictures of his client with celebrities.

One of the board members sought to clarify Simpson's statement when he asked: "The property was yours?"

Simpson took exception to the question, raising his voice and answering sternly: "It's been ruled legally by the state of California that it was my property."

Simpson argued that he had lived a "conflict-free life" and that he was not holding a gun during the robbery.

"In no way, shape or form did I wish [the victims] any harm," he said.

Nevada Board of Parole commissioner Connie Bisbee noted earlier that Simpson was considered a "low risk" of reoffending, according to official guidelines, due to his good behaviour behind bars, his lack of prior convictions and his supportive family network.

She noted, however, that the fear his victims felt when being threatened with a gun was an aggravating factor.

The parole board has retired to deliberate and is expected to provide its verdict later on Thursday, US time.

In the 90s, Simpson was a celebrated American football star, who increased his fame through movie, TV and advertising appearances.

That all changed when he was charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

His sensational murder trial, which was dramatised in miniseries The People V OJ Simpson last year, was must-see TV for Americans in 1995.

He was found not guilty of the murders, but found liable for the deaths in civil court two years later. He was ordered to pay $US33.5 million ($A42.09 million) to his children and the Goldman family.

Despite being acquitted of criminal charges, the Goldmans still believe that Simpson got away with murder.

Ronald Goldman's father and sister, Fred and Kim Goldman, told Good Morning America on Thursday that they didn't believe they will ever see justice.

"Ron never gets to spend his life doing what he wanted to do," Mr Goldman senior said through tears.

Kim Goldman said: "We lived our life with [Simpson] walking the streets and sharing the same roads that we did.

"With him being locked up in Lovelock, it's been a chance for us to kind of reclaim some control over our life and have some glimpse of sanity.

"I'm preparing myself for that to be changing come October."

The parole board noted on Thursday that the cases surrounding the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman would not factor into their decision-making.

News Corp Australia


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