A source that may have surprised some people defended O J. Simpson during his parole board meeting on Thursday. Simpson was granted parole at a hearing in Nevada where he has spent the past nine years at the Lovelock Correctional Facility. Found guilty of armed robbery and kidnapping in a case centered on sports memorabilia in 2007, Simpson was serving a 33-year-long sentence. But this could change after Thursday. The famous football player's former robbery victim, Bruce Fromong took the stand for Simpson and defended him during the meeting.
Fromong is one of the men Simpson was found guilty of robbing in Las Vegas. The other man was Alfread Beardsley, who died in 2015. Although Simpson claimed that the sports items belonged to him, Fromong insisted that he had never stolen from "The Juice," as Simpson is also known.
On Thursday, during the parole meeting, Fromong said that he forgave Simpson. In the conversation with the parole commissioners, he mentioned of his friendship with famous athlete and said that they had been close for over nearly 27 years. He believed that Simpson had spent enough time behind bars and that nine years was "way too long."
Fromong was clear about his stance on Simpson, telling the board members, "First and foremost, I would like to state that I am not here as just as Mr. Simpson's friend of 27 years. But today I am also appearing as a victim of the crime on Sept. 13, 2007. On that day, I felt that Mr. Simpson was misguided — not by himself, but also by Tom Riccio."(Riccio was one of the memorabilia dealers from the 2007 Simpson sports memorabilia case.)
"[Simpson] was led to believe that on that day," Fromong said, "there were going to be thousands of pieces of his personal memorabilia. Pictures of his wife from his first marriage, pictures of kids."
Fromong added that Simpson never "held a gun on me." Fromong told CNN before the hearing that the sentence was out of proportion. "I never thought that the crime deserved that much time, that long of a sentence," he told the network.
The robbery victim told the board that he had never stolen from Simpson. "[Simpson] is my friend, always has been," Fromong said, "and I hope he will remain my friend."
Fromong vowed to be present for Simpson if he needed his support. He said that if Simpson requested him to pick him from the facility, he would be happy to help. "Juice," Fromong said, "I will be here for you tomorrow. I mean that, buddy."