An unlikely source may be working in O.J. Simpson's favor when it comes to his parole. Simpson, who has spent the last nearly nine years in jail for a robbery conviction, is set to have his parole hearing on Thursday. And Simpson's former robbery victim, Bruce Fromong, is actually in favor of granting him parole.
Fromong is one of the men Simpson was convicted of robbing back in 2007. Simpson, along with armed accomplices, stole hundreds of pieces of memorabilia from two men, Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, in a hotel room in Las Vegas. Simpson has maintained that he was trying to recover items that belonged to him, like family heirlooms and photos, and that he did not know that the other men with him were armed. During the trial, Fromong insisted that he did not steal anything from Simpson.
Simpson was convicted of all 12 counts of which he was charged — three counts of conspiracy, one count of burglary with use of a deadly weapon, and two counts each of kidnapping, robbery, and assault and coercion, all with use of a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to nine-to-33 years in prison in 2008.
Fromong was a memorabilia dealer who says he became friends with Simpson in the early '90s, and worked with him on many memorabilia deals. He says that he never thought that the crime deserved the amount of jail time Simpson was sentenced to, and that he has been working for weeks on his testimony, in the hopes that he will be able to help his former friend be released.
"It's important that I see O.J. face to face, man to man," he said. "I'm going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
Simpson was a football superstar, a Heisman winner, and Hall of Famer whose career spanned the '70s. His notoriety extended past the gridiron, however, when in 1994 he was arrested and charged with the double murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. He was famously acquitted after a fervently-followed trial, but it seems legal trouble followed him throughout his life.
It's uncertain whether or not Fromong's testimony will help. Simpson, now 70, was already granted parole in 2013 on five of the counts he was convicted of. This hearing will determine whether he will be granted parole on the remaining seven counts, and therefore be able to leave jail. The fact that he has already had one successful parole hearing bodes well for him, and you'd have to think that favorable testimony from your victim is not a bad card to play either.