Plan in motion for OJ Simpson release as soon as Monday


O J Simpson could be released on parole as soon as Monday in Las Vegas under a plan being finalised by Nevada officials, a prison spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The process culminating in freedom for the former football player, actor and TV pitchman is in motion, but must be approved and documents must be signed, state Department of Corrections spokesperson Brooke Keast said.

Meanwhile, the 70-year-old Simpson remains at Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada awaiting transfer to High Desert State Prison outside Las Vegas, where he would be freed, Keast said.

Simpson's release is expected after he spent nine years behind bars for his 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping convictions following a confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. He was sentenced to up to 33 years behind bars.

Simpson won parole in July from a state parole board that set Sunday, October 1, as the date he becomes eligible for parole. Once released, he will be supervised by the state Division of Parole and Probation.

His release could come on the first business day after October 1 because state probation officials don't handle releases on weekends, said Keast, who said she intends to provide video to the public of the release.

"We've been trying to keep things as normal as possible," she said.

High Desert State Prison is located in Indian Springs, about 72km northwest of Las Vegas. It is the main processing center for inmates from southern Nevada.

A close Simpson friend, Tom Scotto, said Simpson is scheduled to be released "shortly after" October 1. Scotto cast doubt on the Monday release date, saying officials were keeping plans secret.

Scotto has offered to have Simpson live with him in Naples, Florida. Such a move would require an agreement between parole departments in Nevada and Florida.

Florida has not received any transfer paperwork from Nevada, said Ashley Cook, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections.

Nevada Parole and Probation Captain Shawn Arruti, who is involved in Simpson's release, did not immediately respond to messages seeking details.

Malcolm LaVergne, Simpson's lawyer in Las Vegas, also didn't respond to questions about a release plan.

Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murder charges in the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

He was found liable for the killings in civil court two years later and ordered to pay the victims' families $33.5m.

David Cook, attorney for the Goldman family, said on Wednesday the judgment amount has nearly doubled with interest over the years to more than $65m. He said the family will continue to seek payment.


AP

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