Two of O.J. Simpson's children were in the home when their mother Nicole Brown was killed in 1994. Since the day Brown and her friend Ron Goldman were killed, his four children (Simpson's other two children are from his first marriage to Marguerite Whitley) have watched their father go through two trials. One daughter even testified for his defense. He was acquitted of the double murder charges but was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison in 2008 for armed robbery. But on Thursday, will Simpson's children be at his parole hearing? It seems just the oldest will attend.
This daughter, Arnelle, has been the most vocal in supporting her father, testifying on his behalf in the 2008 trial and defending the income from a book Simpson wrote called If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer. Arnelle currently lives in Fresno, California and reportedly plans to attend the hearing in Lovelock, Nevada, which is about six hours away.
The other three are not expected to attend in person, a longtime friend of Simpson, Tom Scotto, told USA Today. Scotto added that the others have good relationship with their father. One of Simpson's children died just before the age of two, drowning in the family's swimming pool.
Simpson's children were absent from his last parole hearing in 2013, when he was granted parole for five of the 12 charges for which he is serving time in a Nevada prison. Simpson explained why none of his children came to that hearing to the four parole board members:
Understand that I have worked diligently to keep my kids out of the media over the years to the point today where most people wouldn’t recognize my kids other than my oldest daughter. And even though they all wanted to come here, I was told a lot of media was going to be around, so I asked them to write a letter.
Their input could help his argument for parole. Legal experts have largely said they think he will be released, especially given the unanimous vote in 2013 and his reportedly good prison behavior. Nevada defense attorney Dan Hill told CNN it's likely to fall in his favor. "Simpson's age, the fact that he was given parole on the first sentencing batch, weigh in his favor," Hill told the 24-hour news channel. "So does the fact that he was by all accounts a model prisoner, as does any acceptance of responsibility for his actions.
For Arnelle, Simpson's concerns about media coverage will definitely be an issue. The hearing is being billed as the "parole hearing of the century," as Simpson's double murder trial was billed as the "trial of the century," back in the 1990s due to it being shown live on television. Thursday's hearing will also be televised live.
In 2013 there was a letter from the children in their stead. Having one in person could only help Simpson's chances on being released early.