After nearly nine years in prison, American sports and screen star O.J. Simpson will receive a parole hearing Thursday that could lead to him being released from prison on Oct. 1.
Simpson, 70, was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping, among other charges, in 2008 after he confronted two sports memorabilia dealers in September 2007 regarding merchandise Simpson claimed had been stolen from him. He was given a nine-year minimum on his 33-year prison sentence.
In July 2013, Simpson had a parole board hearing regarding five of the 12 charges he was convicted of, and he said he regretted the 2007 incident. The board said Simpson was a low risk for repeat offenses and ruled in his favor, but he was not released.
Fall from grace
It has been a stunning fall from grace for the charismatic star once known as “The Juice,” who won the Heisman Trophy as the best U.S. college football player in 1968 and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
He went on to star in commercials and movies such as the Naked Gun comedies and do sideline reporting for Monday Night Football before his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman were slain in 1994.
Simpson was accused of but acquitted in their killings in 1995.
Media frenzy expected
On Thursday, at Simpson’s side in his bid for freedom will be lawyer Malcolm LaVergne, close friend Tom Scotto, sister Shirley Baker and daughter Arnelle Simpson.
Simpson is expected to explain what he would do and where he would live if he is granted parole.
The parole hearing is expected to be a media frenzy. ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, HLN and ESPN will broadcast the hearing, scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT (1700 UTC).
In a nod to public fascination with Simpson’s saga, Nevada officials said the Thursday hearing will be streamed live, with a decision from the four-member board expected in a matter of hours, not the usual several days.