Former prison guard believes OJ Simpson has 'strong chance of getting out' at parole hearing

"I think he hasn't really been a problem in prison," Craig Arnett told ABC News.

July 19, 2017, 8:03 AM

— -- O.J. Simpson will face a Nevada parole board tomorrow after serving nine years in prison for armed robbery.

Craig Arnett, a former guard at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, said he got to see Simpson regularly during his first three years working at the prison. Arnett described Simpson as a model prisoner.

"He's still an inmate, but he definitely wasn't a problem child like some of the other ones were," Arnett told ABC News. "I think he has a strong chance of getting out. I think he hasn't really been a problem in prison."

"Anytime I've ever talked to him, he was respectful. It was 'yes sir, no sir,'" Arnett added. "I treated him the way he treated me. We always had a good working relationship. He got a job in the gym as a gym porter, laid low, kept quiet and that's pretty much all he did."

On Thursday, the parole board's six commissioners will also consider the potential risk Simpson could pose to society should he be released. Simpson needs a majority vote of four of the six commissioners to be granted parole.

Simpson was convicted of armed robbery after he tried to steal sports memorabilia from Bruce Fromong and his friend in 2007. Simpson said he was attempting to get back his own personal memorabilia, but he was sentenced to 33 years in prison.

The former Heisman Trophy-winning football star apologized for his actions during a 2013 parole hearing.

"I didn't know I was doing anything illegal, so I'm sorry," Simpson said at the time. "I'm sorry for all of it."

Arnett said that during his time at the prison, he did not personally see Simpson commit an infraction.

"A lot of guys looked up to him," Arnett added, noting that after the immediate interest in Simpson's arrival faded, the prison went back to business as usual. "I can't say if any staff felt that way. For me, we all wanted to see O.J. Simpson when he came because, at the time, he was headline news."

Now 70, Simpson is expected to speak at his parole hearing Thursday, which will be streamed live to the public.

Fromong told ABC News that he will be speaking on Simpson's behalf.

ABC will have live coverage of Simpson's parole hearing tomorrow at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Related Topics