O.J. Simpson is now in protective custody at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, having been moved to a separate part of the prison and removed from the general population, according to Nevada Department of Corrections spokesperson Brooke Keast.
Keast confirmed to ABC News today that the 70-year-old former football star has been moved as a precautionary measure, due to his notoriety and the attention given his parole hearing Thursday.
A group of four commissioners granted parole to Simpson after he served the minimum nine years of his 33-year sentence for a 2007 kidnapping and armed robbery incident in Las Vegas. Simpson, who expressed both defiance and gratitude at the hearing, could be released as early as Oct. 1.
The commissioners gave the following reasons for granting parole: Simpson has no or minimal prior conviction history, he has stable release plans, he has community and/or family support, he has a positive institutional record, he participated in programs specific to addressing behavior that led to incarceration, and his victim is in support of his parole.
Simpson was sentenced to prison after he allegedly led a group of men into a hotel and casino to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint. He contended the memorabilia and other personal items belonged to him, and he denied ever holding a gun or threatening the robbery victims.
Bruce Fromong, one of the robbed memorabilia dealers and a victim in the case, spoke in Simpson’s favor at the parole hearing. He admitted the hotel room did contain items that belong to Simpson, but said that on the day of the robbery, “Simpson was misguided” and that he “never held a gun on me.”
In fact, Fromong called Simpson his “friend.”
In an exclusive interview today on ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” Fromong said he believes Simpson “has served his time” and deserves parole.
“O.J. has served his time,” Fromong told “GMA” co-anchor. “I had told the [district attorney] at the time I had felt like one to three years was a proper sentence for it.”
“It wasn’t O.J. who put the gun to my head,” Fromong added. “He was also the one who said, ‘Put the gun down, put the gun down.'”
In another interview on “GMA” today, Dr. Henry Johnson said Simpson, his longtime friend whom he visited in prison, was “unjustly found guilty.”
ABC News’ Matt Gutman contributed to this report.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.