(KRON) O.J. Simpson is a free man, he has been paroled from prison.
Simpson was released at 12:08 a.m. PDT from Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada, state prisons spokeswoman Brooke Keast told The Associated Press. She said she did not know the driver who met Simpson upon his release and didn’t know where Simpson was immediately headed in his first hours of freedom.
The 70-year-old Simpson gains his freedom after being granted parole at a hearing in July. Unlike the last time he went free, 22 years ago, he will face restrictions — up to five years of parole supervision — and he’s unlikely to escape public scrutiny as the man who morphed from charismatic football hero, movie star and TV personality into suspected killer and convicted armed robber.
Simpson is out after spending nine years behind bars in a 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping case. Attorney Malcolm LaVergne says Simpson wants to see his family and enjoy “the very simple pleasures” of life, including eating seafood and steak and getting a new iPhone.
“He’s really looking forward to the simple pleasures,” LaVergne said. “Seeing his family on the outside, spending time with them, eating food that’s not packaged.”
Simpson will live in Florida. LaVergne didn’t specify where the former sports and movie star would live, although Tom Scotto, a close friend who lives in Naples, Florida, has offered his home. Scotto didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.
“He’s going to Florida,” LaVergne said. “There’s no doubt he’s going to Florida.”
Two of Simpson’s children, Justin and Sydney, also live in Florida.
However, the state attorney general doesn’t want Simpson to come back. Attorney General Pam Bondi sent a letter to the Florida Department of Corrections, urging it to tell Nevada officials that Florida objects to Simpson serving his parole in the southern state.
“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. “Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal.”
Florida corrections officials have said in the past that they must accept the transfer if Nevada’s request meets the established criteria. A Florida corrections spokeswoman, Ashley Cook, said her agency has not received a transfer request or documents about Simpson.
It’s a new chapter for the one-time pop culture phenomenon whose fame was once again on display when the major TV networks carried his parole hearing live.
He told officials that leading a group of men into a 2007 armed confrontation was an error in judgment he would not repeat.
He told the parole board that he led a “conflict-free life,” an assertion that angered many who believe he got away with killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles in 1994.
Simpson was once an electrifying running back dubbed “Juice” who won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best college football player for USC in 1968 and became one of the NFL’s all-time greats with the Buffalo Bills.
Handsome and charming, he also provided commentary on “Monday Night Football,” became the face of Hertz rental-car commercials and built a movie career with roles in the “Naked Gun” comedies and other films.
Simpson fell from grace when he was arrested in the slayings, after a famous “slow-speed” Ford Bronco chase on California freeways. His subsequent trial became a live-TV sensation that fascinated viewers with its testimony about a bloody glove that didn’t fit and unleashed furious debate over race, police and celebrity justice.
Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 killings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. He was later found liable for their deaths in civil court.
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