Why Is O.J. Simpson In Jail? His 2007 Arrest Brought A Long Sentence
In 1995, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, but that was not the end of the former football player's legal troubles. While FX's American Crime Story has renewed interest in the murder trial, Simpson has made headlines for other legal battles since then. Simpson is currently in prison due to a 2007 arrest. As reported by the Washington Post, Simpson was arrested in September 2007 on multiple felony charges in the armed robbery of a Las Vegas hotel room involving sports memorabilia allegedly stolen from Simpson's own collection.
NBC News reported that three days after the incident, Simpson was arrested and charged with two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and coercion. The Washington Post reported that Simpson said that no guns were involved in this "sting operation," which was arranged in order to get items back that had allegedly been taken from him by a former sports agent. "I'm O.J. Simpson. How am I going to think that I'm going to rob somebody and get away with it?" he told the Los Angeles Times in 2007. "You've got to understand, this ain't somebody going to steal somebody's drugs or something like that. This is somebody going to get his private [belongings] back. That's it. That's not robbery."
According to the Washington Post, these items were among the collection, which was worth about $75,000:
- Simpson's Hall of Fame certificate
- A photo of Simpson with former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover
- Family photos
- A pair of cleats used by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana
CNN reported that sports memorabilia dealer and witness Bruce Fromong testified that Simpson lead a "military-style invasion" of the hotel room at the Palace Station Casino, during which two other armed men accompanied the former NFL star. In an audiotape of the confrontation, Fromong can be heard saying, "We were just robbed at gunpoint by O.J. Simpson."
The trial began in September 2008 and the jury found Simpson guilty of all charges, including robbery and kidnapping, on Oct. 3, 2008 — which was exactly 13 years (to the day) after Simpson's 1995 acquittal, according to the New York Times. In December 2008, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison, with eligibility for parole in nine years, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but so far, his request for appeal and a new trial were both rejected by the Nevada Supreme Court. He is still in prison for the conviction, and according to ABC will be eligible for parole in October 2017.