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OJ Simpson granted parole

After serving nine years of a potential 33-year prison sentence for a 2007 armed robbery case involving his own sports memorabilia, former football legend O.J. Simpson was granted parole on Thursday.

Simpson became immediately emotional, taking his head in his hands when the four-member board unanimously voted to grant him parole in October.

Now 70 years old, Simpson, who was already a household name for his football and acting careers, became notorious after being implicated in the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. He was acquitted in the highly publicized trial that followed.

During the parole hearing Thursday, Simpson recounted his version of the events in September 2007 that led to his incarceration. While acknowledging throughout his remarks that the entire incident was "just not worth it," Simpson maintained that he was unarmed and that he did not break into the hotel room containing his memorabilia.

"I would never, ever pull a weapon on anybody," Simpson said.

Simpson's oldest daughter, Arnelle, read a statement on her father's behalf during the hearing. "We just want him to come home. We really do," she said.

O.J. Simpson arrives for his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Centre in Lovelock, Nevada, U.S. July 20, 2017.
Jason Bean | Reuters
O.J. Simpson arrives for his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Centre in Lovelock, Nevada, U.S. July 20, 2017.

In his remarks for the parole hearing, Simpson described some of his activities during his nine years in Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center. Simpson said he enrolled in a computer course so he could "better communicate with [his] children," as well as a course called "alternatives to violence" that teaches verbal conflict resolution strategies.

"I think it's the most important course anybody in this prison can take," he said.

Simpson had declined to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous program in prison, despite previously saying he would.

"I don't think anybody's ever accused me of having an alcohol problem," he said, while acknowledging that he had been drinking on the day the 2007 robbery took place.

Malcolm LaVergne, Simpson's attorney, read a letter from Simpson to Nevada State Assemblyman Osvald Fumo as part of his closing statement. In the letter, Simpson described his time in prison, including his progress in the computer course.

"Who knows? You may even see a webcast or blog in my future" Simpson said.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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