DISGRACED former American football star OJ Simpson is set to walk free from prison exactly nine years into his 33-year sentence.
A parole board hearing scheduled for the week beginning July 3 – six days before his 70th birthday – is expected to recommend his release, based on good behaviour.
Experts believe the board will vote to release the fallen sports star at the earliest possible date of October 3.
It would be nine years to the day after he was sentenced to 33 years for a string of charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping.
In 1995, Simpson was sensationally cleared of the brutal stabbing murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman in the so-called “Trial of the Century”.
Yesterday, an ex-business partner who visits him regularly at medium-security Lovelock Correctional Centre in Nevada declared: “He’s convinced he’ll be coming out this fall and is counting down the days to his hearing like a kid waiting for Christmas.”
Former American Football hero and NFL Hall of Fame star Simpson – prisoner number 1027820 – has suffered a string of medical setbacks at the remote desert jail, including diabetes and a severe bone infection.
But Simpson, who enjoyed a successful Hollywood acting career in the Naked Gun comedy films after hanging up his boots, is virtually certain to spark fresh outrage when he leaves Lovelock.
US magazine Sports Illustrated claims he has amassed a new fortune while sitting in his shared 125sq ft cell thanks to his huge NFL pension, which reportedly pays him almost £20,000 every month.
That adds up to £240,000 a year and will amount to a £2.16million fortune by the time of his anticipated release.
Under America’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the pension cannot be touched by creditors, despite Simpson owing almost £27million.
But the Goldman and Brown families say they have seen a “mere fraction” of their award from the civil case.
A source close to the Goldmans said yesterday: “They have vowed to pursue him to the ends of the earth and will continue to do so after he walks out of prison.
“His nightmare might be coming to an end, but theirs never will.”
The dealer had, Simpson claimed, stolen a stash of his personal NFL mementos.
To win his freedom, Simpson will need release recommendations from at least four of the seven commissioners at the hearing, which also relies on a complex points system.
Simpson is expected to represent himself.
His chances are good, according to Las Vegas criminal defence attorney Daniel Hill, who has acted on behalf of several Lovelock inmates.
“He’s the kind of person who gets paroled,” he said.
“He has done a significant amount of time and, by all accounts, hasn’t caused any problems.”
By: Mike Parker
27 February 2017