O.J. Simpson in line for early prison release

OJ Simpson (AFP Photo)
OJ Simpson (AFP Photo)

Los Angeles - O.J. Simpson could be released from prison this year after spending nearly a decade behind bars.

The former NFL star will be up for parole in July, the Nevada Department of Corrections said on Monday, although a date for the hearing has not yet been set.

Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison in 2008 for a casino robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas that involved two sports memorabilia dealers.

The disgraced ex-footballer was nabbed in the case after being acquitted in 1994 of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in what was described as the "trial of the century".

Simpson in 2013 was granted parole on some of the charges related to the robbery and kidnapping but still faced at least four more years in prison on four concurrent sentences.

If granted parole, Simpson could be released as early as October, according to local media reports.

One of the most famous American football players of his generation during a glittering 1970s career, Simpson, who is black, has always vehemently denied killing his ex-wife and Goldman, both of whom were white.

He was acquitted after a sensational trial in Los Angeles that attracted non-stop media coverage. The verdict ignited passions across the country, with reactions largely split along racial lines.

Simpson was subsequently found liable for the deaths in a 1997 civil suit and was ordered to pay damages to the victims' families totaling $33.5 million.

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