O.J. Simpson Released From Prison After 9 Years: What's Next?

He had served time for a 2007 botched armed robbery in Las Vegas

By Corinne Heller Oct 01, 2017 3:12 PMTags

O.J. Simpson is a free man.

The 70-year-old former football star was released from prison just after midnight on Sunday morning after serving a minimum requirement of nine out of 33 years in jail for a 2007 botched armed robbery in Las Vegas. He had been granted parole in July.

"The Nevada Department of Corrections, in an effort to ensure public safety and reduce the potential for incident, released Orenthal James Simpson #1027820, on October 1, 2017, at 12:08 AM from Lovelock Correctional Center," read a message posted on the jail's Facebook page early Sunday, alongside a photo of him in a waiting room and signing paperwork and a video showing him leaving the facility.

Upon his release, O.J. was picked up by an unidentified friend, a spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Corrections told CNN.

"I told him, 'Don't come back,' and he responded, 'I don't intend to,'" she said. "He was upbeat, personable and seemed happy to get on with his life."
O.J. Simpson Gets Parole—What's Next? Friend Says He'll Visit Nicole's Grave

Simpson was released in the middle of the night to avoid media attention, CNN reported.

"Our biggest concern was our safety and the public's safety and not wanting anybody, paparazzi, to follow him," the Nevada Department of Correction spokesperson said. "He left through a big blue door through the front gatehouse and exited quietly. He looked down because he didn't want to be photographed."

The spokesperson said that O.J. walked out of prison with paperwork and "three or four boxes about the size of a microwave," containing items such as a hot plate, clothing and shower shoes. He then met with his parole officer.

O.J.'s associates have said he plans to return to Florida, where he used to own a home. On Friday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi sent a letter to Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie L. Jones, saying the state objects to granting him permission to move there.

"Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal," Bondi tweeted.

"Florida AG quite possibly the stupidest person on the planet. Simpson can and will move to Florida. None of your business. M," O.J. lawyer, Malcolm LaVergne, responded on Twitter.

Some of O.J.'s associates told CNN that for now, the former football star will live in a gated residence with friends in a wealthy Las Vegas suburb.

At his parole meeting in July, O.J. had said he wants to "spend as much time as I can with my children and my friends."

LaVergne said Good Morning America last week that O.J. wants to see his family and enjoy "the very simple pleasures" of life, including eating seafood and steak and getting a new iPhone. 

Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool

O.J.'s sentence was handed down after a jury had found him guilty of storming in a hotel room with five other men and leaving with thousands of dollars' worth of memorabilia related to his career after holding two sports merchandise dealers at gunpoint. The former football star had said he was recovering items stolen from him.

The 2008 conviction came exactly 13 years after O.J. was famously acquitted of the 1994 murder of ex Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, in what was dubbed the "trial of the century." He later lost a wrongful death case and was ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages to  the victims' families.

After O.J. was granted parole for the robbery case, his friend Tom Scotto said O.J. "wants to visit his daughter's grave" and "wants to visit Nicole's grave."