OJ Simpson freed after nine years in jail for armed robbery

OJ Simpson signs documents at the Lovelock Correctional Centre on Saturday. He was released early on Sunday
Ken Ritter

OJ Simpson, the former American football player and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison after serving nine years for armed robbery.

Unlike when he walked free after his murder trial in 1995, Simpson faces parole supervision for another five years.

Nevada state prisons spokeswoman Brooke Keast said he was released early on Sunday.

The 70-year-old told the parole board that he wanted to live in Florida but the Florida Department of Corrections said officials had not received a transfer request or required documents.

Simpson was sent to prison in Nevada for a botched hotel-room robbery of sports memorabilia 12 years after he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.

Ms Keast said that Simpson was released at 12.08am local time from Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada.

She said she did not know who met Simpson upon his release and did not know where Simpson was immediately heading in his first hours of freedom.

She said the dead-of-night release from the prison located about 90 miles east of Reno, Nevada, was conducted to avoid media attention.

"We needed to do this to ensure public safety and to avoid any possible incident," Ms Keast added.

Simpson is looking forward to reuniting with his family, eating a steak and some seafood and moving back to Florida, his lawyer said recently.

Simpson also plans to get an iPhone and get reacquainted with technology that was in its infancy when he was sent to prison in 2008.

But Florida's attorney general Pam Bondi said: "The specter of his residing in comfort in Florida should not be an option. Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal."

Close friend Tom Scotto, who lives in Naples, Florida, has offered to have Simpson live at his house. Simpson lost his home near Miami to foreclosure in 2012.

Two of Simpson's children, Justin and Sydney, also live in Florida.

He could live at least temporarily in Las Vegas, where a friend let Simpson use his home for five weeks during his robbery trial.

His five years of parole supervision could be reduced with credits for good behaviour.

Simpson told parole 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 and friend 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 over the murders, coming after the famous 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 did not fit and unleashed furious debate over race, police and celebrity justice.

A jury swiftly acquitted him, but two years later, Simpson was found liable in civil court for the killings and ordered to pay 33.5 million dollars to survivors, including his children and Goldman's family.

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