O.J. Simpson granted parole for early release

O.J. Simpson will be paroled after serving nine years in prison for a botched bid to retrieve sports memorabilia in Las Vegas.

A Nevada parole board decided Thursday that the 70-year-old former football, TV and movie star will be released in October after serving his minimum term for armed robbery and assault with a weapon.

Simpson responded emotionally, saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Four parole commissioners in Carson City questioned Simpson by videoconference from the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada. He has been held there since he was convicted in 2008.

The conviction came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murder in 1995 in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles.

Looking trimmer than he has in recent years, Simpson walked briskly into the hearing room dressed in jeans, a light-blue prison-issue shirt and sneakers. He laughed at one point as the parole board chairwoman mistakenly gave his age as 90.

Simpson, 70, said he never pointed a gun at anyone nor made any threats during the crime that put him in prison, and he forcefully insisted that nearly all the memorabilia he saw in two dealers’ hotel room belonged to him.

“In no way, shape or form did I wish them any harm,” he added, saying he later made amends with those in the room.

He said he has spent his time in prison mentoring fellow inmates, often keeping others out of trouble, and believes he has become a better person during his time behind bars. He said he took an alternative-to-violence course in prison.

‘I’ve done my time,” he said. “I’ve done it as well and respectfully as I think anybody can.”

A vote in his favor enables Simpson to get out as early as Oct. 1. By then, he will have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year armed-robbery sentence.

The Hall of Fame athlete’s chances of winning release were considered good, given similar cases and Simpson’s model behavior behind bars.

His defenders have argued, too, that his sentence was out of proportion to the crime and that he was being punished for the two murders he was acquitted of during his 1995 “Trial of the Century” in Los Angeles, the stabbings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Reflecting America’s enduring fascination with Simpson, several major TV networks and cable channels – including ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox, MSNBC and ESPN – carried the proceedings live, just as some of them did two decades ago during the Ford Bronco chase that ended in Simpson’s arrest, and again when the jury in the murder case came back with its verdict.

Simpson said most of the objects taken in the hotel heist were personal property, including letters from celebrities, family photos, certificates of accomplishment and more. Items that were not his, including autographed baseballs, were taken by others in the rush to get out of the room, he said.

He added he realizes he made a terrible mistake bringing along two people with guns, adding if he had gone to the room by himself he could have resolved the matter without a problem.

Simpson said if released he plans to return to Florida, where he was living before his incarceration.

“I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don’t think you guys want me here,” he joked at one point.

“No comment, sir,” one of the parole board members said.

Inmate No. 1027820 made his plea for freedom in a stark hearing room at the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada as four parole commissioners in Carson City, a two-hour drive away, questioned him via video. 

An electrifying running back dubbed “The Juice,” Simpson won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best college football player in 1968 and went on to become one of the NFL’s all-time greats.

The handsome and charismatic athlete was also a “Monday Night Football” commentator, sprinted through airports in Hertz rental-car commercials and built a Hollywood career with roles in the “Naked Gun” comedies and other movies.

All of that came crashing down with his arrest in the 1994 slayings and his trial, a gavel-to-gavel live-TV sensation that transfixed viewers with its testimony about the bloody glove that didn’t fit and stirred furious debate over racist police, celebrity justice and cameras in the courtroom.

Last year, the case proved to be compelling TV all over again with the ESPN documentary “O.J.: Made in America” and the award-winning FX miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

In 1997, Simpson was found liable in civil court for the two killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and the Goldman family.

Then a decade later, he and five accomplices – two with guns – stormed a hotel room and seized photos, plaques and signed balls, some of which never belonged to Simpson, from two sports memorabilia dealers.

Simpson was convicted in 2008, and the long prison sentence brought a measure of satisfaction to some of those who thought he got away with murder.

One of the dealers robbed, Bruce Fromong, planned to attend the parole hearing, saying he and Simpson had made amends and that he intended to speak in favor of release.

A Goldman family spokesman said Goldman’s father and sister, Fred and Kim, would not be part of the hearing and feel apprehensive about “how this will change their lives again should Simpson be released.”

The now-retired district attorney who prosecuted Simpson for the heist, David Roger, has denied Simpson’s sentence was “payback” for his murder acquittal. He has also said that if Simpson behaved in prison, he should get parole.

Alexa, can you save Sears? Sears to sell Kenmore appliances on Amazon

Sears has been taking a beating from Amazon. Now, the iconic retailer has decided to partner with the online giant.

The company said Thursday that it’s struck a deal to sell its Kenmore appliance line on Amazon. Additionally, Sears said Kenmore smart appliances will be able to connect with Alexa, Amazon’s personal assistant. Those appliances already connect with users’ smartphones.

Kenmore smart air conditioners that are integrated with Alexa are available on Amazon now, and more products are on the way, the company said.

It’s a major agreement that investors cheered. Shares of Sears Holdings were up over 20% following the announcement.

“The launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S.,” Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert said in a release.

Sears will still provide installation and other services, such as a warranties, to customers.

It’s not clear when other Kenmore smart appliances, like its refrigerator, washer and dryer, will become available on Amazon.

Along with most traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, Sears has struggled this year. It has said it plans to shut down more than 250 stores — about 20% of its locations.

But the company hopes this partnership will be boost sales.

“This collaboration is the first of its kind for Kenmore, broadening its accessibility to the next generation of American families,” Tom Park, who leads the Kenmore brand at Sears, said in a statement.

Competitors are feeling the heat. Home Depot and Whirlpool are down more than 4%. Lowe’s is down more than 6%.

Sears hasn’t disclosed how much the deal is worth.

O.J. Simpson granted parole for early release

O.J. Simpson will be paroled after serving nine years in prison for a botched bid to retrieve sports memorabilia in Las Vegas.

A Nevada parole board decided Thursday that the 70-year-old former football, TV and movie star will be released in October after serving his minimum term for armed robbery and assault with a weapon.

Simpson responded emotionally, saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Four parole commissioners in Carson City questioned Simpson by videoconference from the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada. He has been held there since he was convicted in 2008.

The conviction came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murder in 1995 in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles.

Looking trimmer than he has in recent years, Simpson walked briskly into the hearing room dressed in jeans, a light-blue prison-issue shirt and sneakers. He laughed at one point as the parole board chairwoman mistakenly gave his age as 90.

Simpson, 70, said he never pointed a gun at anyone nor made any threats during the crime that put him in prison, and he forcefully insisted that nearly all the memorabilia he saw in two dealers’ hotel room belonged to him.

“In no way, shape or form did I wish them any harm,” he added, saying he later made amends with those in the room.

He said he has spent his time in prison mentoring fellow inmates, often keeping others out of trouble, and believes he has become a better person during his time behind bars. He said he took an alternative-to-violence course in prison.

‘I’ve done my time,” he said. “I’ve done it as well and respectfully as I think anybody can.”

A vote in his favor enables Simpson to get out as early as Oct. 1. By then, he will have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year armed-robbery sentence.

The Hall of Fame athlete’s chances of winning release were considered good, given similar cases and Simpson’s model behavior behind bars.

His defenders have argued, too, that his sentence was out of proportion to the crime and that he was being punished for the two murders he was acquitted of during his 1995 “Trial of the Century” in Los Angeles, the stabbings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Reflecting America’s enduring fascination with Simpson, several major TV networks and cable channels – including ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox, MSNBC and ESPN – carried the proceedings live, just as some of them did two decades ago during the Ford Bronco chase that ended in Simpson’s arrest, and again when the jury in the murder case came back with its verdict.

Simpson said most of the objects taken in the hotel heist were personal property, including letters from celebrities, family photos, certificates of accomplishment and more. Items that were not his, including autographed baseballs, were taken by others in the rush to get out of the room, he said.

He added he realizes he made a terrible mistake bringing along two people with guns, adding if he had gone to the room by himself he could have resolved the matter without a problem.

Simpson said if released he plans to return to Florida, where he was living before his incarceration.

“I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don’t think you guys want me here,” he joked at one point.

“No comment, sir,” one of the parole board members said.

Inmate No. 1027820 made his plea for freedom in a stark hearing room at the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada as four parole commissioners in Carson City, a two-hour drive away, questioned him via video. 

An electrifying running back dubbed “The Juice,” Simpson won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best college football player in 1968 and went on to become one of the NFL’s all-time greats.

The handsome and charismatic athlete was also a “Monday Night Football” commentator, sprinted through airports in Hertz rental-car commercials and built a Hollywood career with roles in the “Naked Gun” comedies and other movies.

All of that came crashing down with his arrest in the 1994 slayings and his trial, a gavel-to-gavel live-TV sensation that transfixed viewers with its testimony about the bloody glove that didn’t fit and stirred furious debate over racist police, celebrity justice and cameras in the courtroom.

Last year, the case proved to be compelling TV all over again with the ESPN documentary “O.J.: Made in America” and the award-winning FX miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

In 1997, Simpson was found liable in civil court for the two killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and the Goldman family.

Then a decade later, he and five accomplices – two with guns – stormed a hotel room and seized photos, plaques and signed balls, some of which never belonged to Simpson, from two sports memorabilia dealers.

Simpson was convicted in 2008, and the long prison sentence brought a measure of satisfaction to some of those who thought he got away with murder.

One of the dealers robbed, Bruce Fromong, planned to attend the parole hearing, saying he and Simpson had made amends and that he intended to speak in favor of release.

A Goldman family spokesman said Goldman’s father and sister, Fred and Kim, would not be part of the hearing and feel apprehensive about “how this will change their lives again should Simpson be released.”

The now-retired district attorney who prosecuted Simpson for the heist, David Roger, has denied Simpson’s sentence was “payback” for his murder acquittal. He has also said that if Simpson behaved in prison, he should get parole.

Powerball reveals $447.8 million winner in California

The winner of one of the largest lottery jackpots in history has been revealed.

Jeff Lindsay and his family turned in the lone winning ticket for a $447.8 million Powerball jackpot to the California Lottery. But the family would like to remain as private as possible.

“We are obviously thrilled with this tremendous stroke of good luck and are still getting our arms around what it means for us,” said Lindsay, in a statement provided by California Lottery.

The jackpot is the seventh largest in Powerball history and the 10th largest in U.S. history. The Lindsays say they’ll take a lump sum payment of $271.1 million before taxes.

Powerball announced last month that a winning ticket for the nearly half a billion dollar jackpot was sold at Marietta Liquor & Deli in Menifee. But the winner had not come forward and his identity was a secret, until now.

California Lottery said that Lindsay bought Scratchers tickets and cashed in a winner for an undisclosed sum of money, which he used to buy 10 Powerball tickets, and one of those was the jackpot winner.

Lindsay declined to be interviewed but released this statement via California Lottery:

“We are private people and do not want to change who we are or become public figures and ask that people appreciate and respect our privacy. In order to help manage what has already been a somewhat overwhelming process, we have engaged a number of financial, legal and other advisors to guide us and help us make the best decisions possible.”

California Lottery said the winning Powerball ticket sat on Lindsay’s kitchen counter for a while, until he heard that the winning ticket was bought in a store in the Sun City community of Menifee.

The Alberre family which owns the liquor store will receive $1 million for selling the winning ticket.

The winning numbers were 20, 26, 32, 38, 58 and the Powerball was 3.

If it seems like Powerball jackpots have become more common, that’s because they have. Six of the 10 largest Powerball jackpots ever have happened since the start of 2016. The reason: Powerball changed its formula in October 2015 to give players more numbers to choose from, the chance at bigger jackpots, but longer odds to win.