Nine years after he was convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery, former football legend O.J. Simpson will now go free.
Simpson appeared before four members of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners on Thursday, where he had a chance to argue in favor of his release, as the New York Times reports. The board unanimously granted his request. Simpson is now scheduled to be released on parole as early as October 1.
Back in 2008, Simpson was convicted of breaking into a Las Vegas hotel room and stealing sports memorabilia from two collectors, earning him a sentence of nine to 33 years in prison. As the 70-year-old neared his minimum sentence, he had an opportunity to vie for parole.
At Thursday's hearing, Simpson walked members of the parole board through the 2007 incident for which he was convicted, offering an account that board member Tony Corda said "differs a little from the official record." He stressed that everything he took from the hotel room belonged to him, and added that he was unaware that the men he described as his "security guys" pulled a gun on Bruce Fromong—a victim in the case—until after the confrontation ended. Still, Simpson said he was remorseful about what went down, acknowledging that Fromong was "traumatized" by having a weapon aimed at him.
"I would've done anything not to have that happen," Simpson said. "I've done my time. I'd just like to get back to my family and friends."
His eldest child, Arnelle Simpson, also testified on her father's behalf.
"My experience with him is that he's like my best friend and my rock," she said. "We just want him to come home."
Among guards at Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center, Simpson is known as a model prisoner, which bolstered his case for early release. He was scored on an 11-point disciplinary scale at the hearing—which increases based on the number of citations one receives behind bars. Despite recent reports speculating about Simpson's time at Lovelock—from allegedly eating a stolen cookie to violating prison rules for masturbating (a report that was later debunked)—he's managed to stay out of trouble. As the parole board's Chairwoman Connie Bisbee said at the hearing, Simpson hasn't received any disciplinary infractions.
Though Simpson is currently serving time for a robbery in Vegas, he's of course way better known for beating a murder charge in the 90s that became one of the most-watched trials in history. In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, his ex-wife, and her friend Ronald Goldman. Two years later, a jury in a civil trial found the Heisman Trophy-winner responsible for their deaths and ordered him to pay each of their families millions in damages. So far, he's only provided them with a fraction of the money they're owed, the Times reports.
As he left the room at Lovelock in which he was held for the hearing, Simpson shouted for joy.
"Oh god!" he yelled in the hallway. "Holy god."
This story has been updated.