O.J. Simpson to ask Nevada parole board to cut prison sentence
(Reuters) – Former football star O.J. Simpson will ask the Nevada parole board on Thursday to reduce his prison sentence of up to 33 years for his role in the robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers.
Simpson, convicted in 2008 of storming a Las Vegas hotel room with other men and taking thousands of dollars worth of memorabilia he said dated from his sports career, is seeking parole for convictions on robbery, kidnapping and burglary charges.
Simpson, 66, still needs to finish sentences for assault with a deadly weapon and other charges related to the 2007 incident.
Even if he were successful in this and future parole requests, he would not be released from prison before 2017, said David Smith, a spokesman for the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners.
“He’s been a model inmate, so we don’t expect him to have any problems making parole,” said Simpson’s attorney, Patricia Palm, who is representing him in his request for a new trial on the charges.
Simpson’s attorneys have said he was only trying to retrieve property that he believed belonged to him.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame running back was acquitted in California in 1995 of two counts of murder in the stabbing and slashing deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. He later lost a wrongful death case brought by Goldman’s family.
Simpson will be dressed in prison denim when he appears via video conference on Thursday from Lovelock Correctional Center and speaks to a parole board commissioner 100 miles away in Carson City, Smith said.
The Nevada parole board will likely rule next week on Simpson’s request, Smith said. He is eligible for parole on his convictions for robbery, kidnapping and burglary, but not assault with a deadly weapon, he said.
Because of credits for good behavior, Simpson would likely serve a total of no more than about 20 years in prison even if he were never granted parole, said Clark County chief deputy district attorney Leon Simon, who is involved in fighting Simpson’s request for a new trial.
In May, Simpson requested a new trial on the grounds that his former attorney, Yale Galanter, mishandled the 2008 case and had a conflict of interest because he knew in advance that the former athlete planned to confront the sports dealers.
A Clark County judge is expected to rule within weeks on Simpson’s request for a new trial.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Cooney)
[O.J. Simpson reacts after speaking to his attorneys in Clark County District Court during a break in his evidentiary hearing in Las Vegas, Nevada May 13, 2013. REUTERS/Julie Jacobson/Pool]