On July 20, ex-football star, actor and inmate at Lovelock Correctional Center, OJ Simpson will make a long awaited appearance in front of a Nevada parole board.
Simpson, now 70, was convicted in a botched robbery in Las Vegas to steal sports memorabilia that he says belonged to him. He was charged with armed robbery and kidnapping, and has been behind bars since 2007.
But now Bruce Fromong, the only surviving victim in the robbery says he’s willing to forgive and wants to testify on Simpson’s behalf
Fromong told CNN in three phone conversations he plans to travel to Nevada's to advocate for his one-time friend's release. "I never thought that the crime deserved that much time, that long of a sentence," he said. The dealer also said he looked forward to playing golf again with the former football great.
The Nevada Parole Board has declined to comment on whether or not Fromong is to testify at the hearing.
Simpson will appear before 4 parole board commissioners. If there is a split in the voting, 2 additional commissioners will be called in. Four out of the 6 would be required to vote in favor of his parole before Simpson could be released. If there is another split vote, parole will be denied for 6 months and a subsequent hearing will be held in January 2018. If granted parole, Simpson could be released as early as October 1.
Some 13 years earlier, Simpson dominated headlines when he was charged with the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson her friend Ron Goldman. He was acquitted of all charges in 1995, and led a relatively private life until the robbery.
Although he won the criminal case, the Simpson and Goldman families filed and won civil lawsuits and Simpson was ordered to repay $33.5 million in damages. Simpson’s home and pension are exempt from the suit, however his football trophies and other pieces were sold as part of the settlement. Goldman got Simpson’s coveted Heisman trophy and sold it at auction for 230,000.
At his sentencing hearing, Simpson argued that he was attempting to get family heirlooms and personal items back from memorabilia dealers, including Fromong. Simpson said he did not know his associates were armed.