With news that O.J. Simpson is now a free man, it feels like it’s 1994 all over again — because people can’t seem to stop talking about “The Juice.” After being successfully granted early release and parole after an August parole hearing, the Juice is once again on the loose! But news that he's out of jail has many questioning why he was behind bars in the first place.
The disgraced football had been behind bars for nearly nine years on charges completely unrelated to the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman — a crime he was tried for and ultimately acquitted of. Instead, he’s been serving jail time for a 2007 armed robbery of a memorabilia dealer in Las Vegas.
On the night on Sept. 13, 2007, the Heisman winner led a group of men who broke into a room at the Palace Station hotel in Vegas, where the memorabilia dealer — Bruce Fromong — had various pieces of sports memorabilia stolen from him at gunpoint. Among the items were former possessions of O.J.’s, which the controversial athlete said were stolen from him. During the heist, O.J. ordered the men who were accompanying him to ensure no one left the premises, which later led to kidnapping charges.
Investigators initially named O.J. as a suspect, but released him after questioning him; three days after the confrontation, on Sept. 16, 2007, O.J. was arrested by law enforcement. On Sept. 19 of the same year, he appeared in court and was charged with 12 counts total, including conspiracy to commit a crime, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, two counts of first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon, two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and two counts of coercision with a deadly weapon (as alternates to the counts of first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon).
On Oct. 3, 2008 — exactly 13 years to the day that he was infamously acquitted in his murder trial — he was found guilty on all 10 charges; on Dec. 3, he was sentenced and the judge ordered eight of the 10 counts to run concurrently, with a maximum sentence of 33 years and the possibility of parole after nine years — meaning his earliest possible release, should the parole hearing go well, would be October of this year.
While the world at large has mixed feelings about O.J. being a free man, one of his victims — his former friend and the memorabilia dealer Bruce Fromong — admitted just before the parole hearing that he would be comfortable seeing O.J., who is father to Arnelle and Jason Simpson from his first marriage and Sydney and Justin from his marriage to Nicole, released. He told the New York Post, “He’s [already] done enough [time].”