O.J. Simpson is a free man.
After spending nine years in prison for a Las Vegas robbery, the former NFL star walked out of Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Institute at 12:08 a.m. local time Sunday, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections.
Dressed in jeans and a jean jacket — the same type of prison denim that he wore during his parole hearing — white sneakers and a hat, Simpson, 70, signed release papers and quietly left the facility in the dark of night on the first day he was eligible for release.
As he left prison, in his hands were the possessions he accrued over his nine years there: two boxes of legal paperwork, some clothing and items that he had acquired or purchased through the prison store, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections, which released a short video of Simpson’s prison exit, as well as a photo of him signing release papers.
Simpson was sentenced to prison following an arrest in 2007 during a botched robbery in Las Vegas, when he led a group of men into a hotel and casino to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint. The former Buffalo Bills star contended the memorabilia and other personal items belonged to him.
Simpson, who served his time at Lovelock, was granted parole at a hearing in July.
Before the decision was announced, Simpson gave his account of the botched robbery to the parole board, telling the board members how he learned that some “some guys” were trying to “fence” what he said were his personal mementos in Las Vegas.
“As a perfect storm we all ended up in Las Vegas, you know? I was there for a wedding and [was told that] the property was there.”
He later continued, “I said, ‘Of course I would like to get the property.’ He told me the names of what he thought were the people in the room, and I realized these are friends of mine. You know? Actually guys who helped me move, helped me move and store some of this stuff.”
Simpson explained, “When I came into the [hotel] room I noticed spread out everywhere was my personal property.” “The only thing I saw that was on display that wasn’t mine was some baseballs, and I made it clear to everybody those are not mine. All I want is my property. … I wasn’t there to steal from anybody.”
“I would never, ever pull a weapon,” he said.
When asked if he believed that the property was his, Simpson replied, “It’s been ruled legally by the state of California that it was my property and they’ve given it to me.”
Simpson reassured the board he would be successful meeting the conditions of his parole before it was granted, saying, “I’m not a guy who lived a criminal life.”
Simpson’s attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, told ABC News on Friday that upon his release, Simpson wants to go to Florida, where he can “see his family and hug his family on the outside of prison.”
“He wants to eat seafood, he wants to eat steak,” LaVergne said. “He wants to enjoy the very simple pleasures that he hasn’t enjoyed in nine years.”
Tom Scotto, one of Simpson’s longtime friends, told ABC News, “All he wants to do is spend time with his family and friends and his kids. And play a little golf.”
But Scotto added that Simpson won’t be shying away from the public eye.
“We’re not gonna hide,” Scotto said. “He’s gonna do the same things he always did.”
Over 20 years ago, Simpson went on trial for the 1994 killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. On Oct. 3, 1995, at the end of a televised trial that captivated the nation, Simpson was acquitted of all criminal charges.
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