(Reuters) – A parole hearing for former football star O.J. Simpson, serving time in a Nevada prison for a 2008 robbery and kidnapping conviction, has been set for July 20, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners announced on Tuesday.
Simpson, famously acquitted in a sensational double-murder trial that gripped America two decades ago, was sentenced to as much as 33 years in prison for a bungled 2007 attempt in Las Vegas to recover memorabilia from his storied sports career.
If granted parole at next month’s hearing, he will remain in custody until at least Oct. 1, parole officials said.
Simpson, 70, will appear for the hearing through a video feed from the Lovelock Correctional Center, about 100 miles northeast of Carson City, the state capital.
If the four parole commissioners who are scheduled to conduct the hearing cannot agree unanimously on whether to release Simpson, the remaining three members will be contacted immediately to review the case and vote until there is a majority for approval or denial.
The board in 2013 granted Simpson parole on several of the charges related to his conviction – namely kidnapping, robbery and burglary. But he remained ineligible for time still to be served on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and related sentencing issues.
Simpson, one of the greatest running backs in the National Football League in the 1970s, was found guilty by a Nevada jury of all 12 charges against him for storming into a Las Vegas hotel room with five cohorts and holding two sports merchandise dealers at gunpoint, then making off with thousands of dollars in collectibles.
The four other men originally charged in the case all pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution during Simpson’s trial.
His 2008 conviction came exactly 13 years after his controversial 1995 acquittal in Los Angeles of the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, who were found stabbed and slashed to death in June 1994.
A civil court jury later found Simpson liable for their deaths and awarded $33.5 million in damages to the victims’ families, a judgment that remains largely unpaid.
Prosecutors said the Las Vegas robbery grew out of grudges Simpson had nursed since his murder trial and civil case. He claimed he was out to take back property that rightfully belonged to him.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Bill Trott)