OJ Simpson will live out freedom in Vegas

2017-10-02 07:55
OJ Simpson signs a document before being released from prison. (AP)

OJ Simpson signs a document before being released from prison. (AP)

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Las Vegas - Officials at a remote Nevada prison where OJ Simpson was set free early on Sunday after nine years for armed robbery arraigned the former football and Hollywood star's dead-of-night departure to avoid public scrutiny.

It worked. Simpson signed release paperwork just before midnight and disappeared into the darkness minutes into the first day he was eligible for release. Through efforts by prison officials to keep the time and place secret, there were no journalists outside the prison gates to capture the moment.

Though publicity-prone in the past, Simpson apparently took the advice of people in his inner circle that he avoid the spotlight. He was neither heard from nor seen publicly, except when a person made a video recording of him in a car at a fuel station station on the way to Las Vegas in which he asked to be left alone.

READ: OJ Simpson freed from prison after serving 9 years

State Division of Parole and Probation Capt. Shawn Arruti told The Associated Press that the former football hero and celebrity criminal defendant plans to live at a home in the Las Vegas area for the foreseeable future. Arruti declined for what he said were security and privacy reasons to disclose the exact location of the house.

Lovelock Correctional Centre spokesperson she said she didn't know the name of the driver who met him and took him to an undisclosed location.

Keast recorded and released a brief video on social media in which Simpson is told to "come on out" and he responds "OK" after walking through an open door and toward a parking lot bordered by desert scrub brush.

Photographs

The prisons spokesperson also took photographs showing Simpson - in blue jeans, denim jacket, glasses, ball cap and white sneakers - signing documents about 10 minutes before midnight. He later left the prison with four or five boxes of possessions in the car. Keast said she had no information about where he was going.

Tom Scotto, a Simpson friend who lives in Naples, Florida, said by text message an hour after the release that he was with Simpson. But Scotto did not answer texts asking where they were going or whether members of Simpson's family were with them.

Along with Simpson's sister and oldest daughter, Scotto had attended the July parole hearing at the same prison where Simpson went after his conviction for a botched 2007 heist at a Las Vegas hotel room - prison time he avoided after his 1995 acquittal in the killings of his ex-wife and her friend.

Florida's Corrections Department "has not received any transfer paperwork from Nevada" about Simpson that would be required for him to live in that state and be monitored there, spokeswoman Ashley Cook said Sunday.

Though Florida's attorney general has urged corrections officials to object to Simpson's return, the department previously has said it would be required to accept a transfer if it met certain criteria.


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