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O.J. Simpson pleads for leniency at Nevada parole hearing

July 25, 2013|By Michael Muskal

O.J. Simpson, the former football superstar who has become just as well-known for his twists and turns through the criminal justice system, said he regrets the crime that put him into a Nevada jail cell.

Speaking to Nevada parole officials from prison Thursday, Simpson, 66, said he’s been a model prisoner and asked for leniency. Parole officials are expected to rule on the request by next week, spokesman David Smith told the Los Angeles Times.

Simpson has been at Lovelock Correction Center, about 90 miles from Reno, since 2008, when he was sentenced to up to 33 years on a variety of charges stemming from what he said was an attempt to regain his sports memorabilia from dealers. He was eventually convicted on charges including kidnapping, robbery and burglary.

While some of his sentences run concurrently, others (on two counts each of kidnapping and robbery and one count of burglary) run consecutively. So even if Simpson wins a favorable ruling, he would still have to serve years in prison, Smith said.

The former running back who played for USC and won pigskin immortality as a professional in Buffalo, N.Y., would save three years on the time he is in prison, however, if the board rules in his favor.

The hearing lasted about 20 minutes, Smith said.

Simpson has also sought a new trial on the charges, arguing that his then-lawyer, Yale Galanter, performed poorly. Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell held a weeklong hearing on the issue in May.

Simpson said the Nevada incident came about because he was trying to reclaim his stolen property and originally called his actions part of a “sting” designed to recover valuable mementos of his sports career.

It is not known when Bell will issue her ruling.

In one of the most celebrated murder trials, Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in 1994.

In 1997, a civil court ruled against Simpson in a wrongful death suit stemming from the killings.

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