Lovelock Correctional Center released inmate number 1027820—more commonly known as Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson—just after midnight Sunday morning. The NFL Hall of Fame running back, actor, businessman and commentator responsible for what was billed as “The Trial of the Century” was released minutes into the first day a parole board ruled him eligible at 12:08 am PST.
Simpson was acquitted in the 1995 killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ronald Goldman. He lost a related $33.5 million civil suit, which set off a chain of events leading to his Nevada incarceration. Large portions of Simpson’s memorabilia were auctioned off to pay the civil suit after the former NFL star was found liable for the deaths of Goldman and Brown.
In 2007, memorabilia dealers, Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley set up a hotel meeting to sell some of Simpson’s items to a perspective buyer, only to find the party in question was Simpson and a group of armed men. Simpson and his associates departed with the goods only to be hit with 12 felony counts including kidnapping and armed robbery.
Simpson served nine years of a sentence that was originally nine-to-33 years with the eligibility for parole. He emerges back into a world he helped create via his association with the late Robert Kardashian Sr. and the reality show nature of his highly publicized trial.
According to a USA Today report by Nancy Armour, the $33 million Simpson owed to the Goldman and Brown families has now grown to $60 million because of accrued interest.
Meanwhile Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has gone on record as saying she the 70-year-old Simpson is a safety risk.
“Floridians are well aware of Mr. Simpson’s background, his wanton disregard for the lives of others, and of his scofflaw attitude with respect to the heinous acts for which he has been found civilly liable,” Bondi said via statement.
Christopher Darden, who famously lost to Simpson’s legal team during the 1995 criminal trial, echoed those statements to TMZ.
“I think you ought to decide if you want to live next to a double murderer or not,” Darden said. “That’s not exactly safe for the kids, is it?”