O. J. Simpson's murder trial may have been considered "the trial of the century," but it was robbing memorabilia of his playing days that landed him in prison. And he may finally get out at the age of 70.
The former football star, who was convicted of armed robbery and assault with a weapon, is expected to be released after more than eight years behind bars, CBS reports. Simpson is approaching the nine year minimum of his 33-year sentence, and experts say the parole board is likely to release him. He has had no prior criminal convictions and has kept a clean record while in prison.
"Assuming that he's behaved himself in prison, I don't think it will be out of line for him to get parole," said retired Clark County district attorney David Roger.
A Las Vegas jury convicted Simpson in 2008 for stealing collectibles that the former football player said "belonged to him." Two of the four men who were with Simpson testified to having weapons, leading Simpson to receive a stiffer sentence even though he did not have a gun.
In 2013, the members reviewed Simpson's case and granted him parole on some of the charges, bringing his minimum sentence down.
Only one of the two victims of the robbery is still alive, and he has forgiven Simpson. Bruce Fromong said that he suffered serious financial and physical harm from the robbery, but he plans to "be good for O.J." and attend the hearing.
One of the detectives on the case, Andy Caldwell, is now a Christian minister and said that he is not predicting how the board will rule.
"I don't want to offer an opinion," Caldwell said. "I'm just curious to see how everything unfolds."
Simpson has been an active part of the community inside the Nevada prison.
"He's really been a positive force in there. He's done a lot of good for a lot of people," said Tom Scotto, a friend of Simpson. It was Scotto's wedding that brought Simpson to Las Vegas when the robbery occurred, but he does not seem to hold it against Simpson.
Scotto said that Simpson has been leading a prayer group, mentoring other inmates, and has had jobs in the prison, even serving as commissioner of the softball team in the prison yard.
But not everyone has such a high opinion of Simpson, mostly because many believe he murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson. New York defense attorney Michael Shapiro said that the judge in the 2008 case believed Simpson was a murderer, and that did not help him defend against the robbery charges.
"The judge believed he got away with murder," Shapiro told CBS. "That's the elephant in the room. If the parole authorities feel the same way, he could be in trouble."