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The *DEFINITIVE* Guide to O.J. Simpson’s Nevada Criminal Charges

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The 2017 O.J. Simpson parole hearing could be the final chapter in a convoluted legal process which began a decade earlier with a 2007 criminal complaint.

The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners will today consider whether to fully parole Simpson on six charges:  two are assault charges; four are aggregated deadly weapons charges (which were originally attached to two underlying kidnapping and two underlying robbery charges). The parole commissioners could decide today to set Simpson free later this year. Or, they could decide to keep him in prison for another 14 years.

A LawNewz review of Simpson’s criminal complaint, sentencing hearing, prison records, parole board records, Nevada statutes, and other public records explains how a man convicted of twelve charges in 2008 can potentially be freed just nine years later.

Clark County, Nevada prosecutors charged O.J. Simpson with eleven counts on September 18, 2007. A twelfth charge was later added. A jury convicted Simpson of all twelve charges on October 3, 2008.

The outcomes of the twelve original charges may be lumped into four major categories. Simpson either:

  1. Served his sentence in full;
  2. Was paroled fully in 2013;
  3. Was paroled from one phase of punishment to another phase of punishment in 2013; or
  4. The charge was dismissed prior to sentencing.

If you’re looking for a legal lesson, we’ve got you covered.

Our analysis tracks the trajectory of each of the twelve charges Simpson faced, the final outcomes of those charges, and ends with a look at what led to the timing of the 2017 parole hearing. Some charges are grouped together in this analysis because they received similar legal treatments.

(1) CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT CRIME.

Charged on the original criminal complaint, Simpson was convicted at trial and sentenced to one year in the county jail. He served the sentence for this conviction in full in state prison rather than county jail due to his other sentences requiring state prison terms.

(2) CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT KIDNAPPING.
(3) CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT ROBBERY.

Charged on the original criminal complaint, Simpson was convicted at trial and sentenced to serve 12 to 48 months in state prison for each of these two charges. The sentencing judge said Simpson could serve these sentences concurrent to (at the same time as) all his other charges. Simpson served this time in full in state prison. The charges are considered discharged.

(4) BURGLARY WHILE IN POSSESSION OF A DEADLY WEAPON.

Charged on the original criminal complaint, Simpson was convicted at trial and sentenced to serve 26-120 months in state prison. The sentencing judge said Simpson could serve this time concurrent to (at the same time as) his other charges. The state parole board granted Simpson parole for this charge on July 25, 2013. Prison records indicate the charge was discharged as a result.

(5) FIRST-DEGREE KIDNAPPING WITH THE USE OF A DEADLY WEAPON (First Count – Bruce Fromong).
(6) FIRST-DEGREE KIDNAPPING WITH THE USE OF A DEADLY WEAPON (Second Count – Alfred Beardsley).

These are the two most serious charges Simpson faced. Charged on the original criminal complaint, Simpson was convicted at trial and sentenced to fifteen years in prison on each of these charges. The sentencing judge allowed Simpson to serve this time concurrent to (at the same time as) his other charges. Simpson was eligible for parole after five years. At his first eligibility, on July 25, 2013, Simpson was paroled out of the underlying kidnapping charges.

However, the 2013 parole did not set Simpson free. He was then ordered to serve two consecutive (back to back) sentences of 12 to 72 months on the deadly weapons elements attached to the underlying kidnapping charges. These consecutive sentences had to be served after the underlying kidnapping charges were discharged. Simpson elected to have the consecutive deadly weapons elements here aggregated with several other weapons charges below. We’ll discuss the aggregation process later.

(7) ROBBERY WITH USE OF A DEADLY WEAPON (First Count – Bruce Fromong).
(8) ROBBERY WITH USE OF A DEADLY WEAPON (Second Count – Alfred Beardsley).

Charged on the original criminal complaint, Simpson was convicted at trial and sentenced to serve 60 to 80 months in prison for both robbery charges. Again, the judge allowed Simpson to serve his time concurrent to (at the same time as) his other charges. At his first eligibility, on July 25, 2013, Simpson was paroled out of both of the underlying robbery charges.

Similar to the above charges for kidnapping, however, Simpson’s parole out of the underlying charges then allowed him to begin serving the consecutive (back to back) sentences of 12 to 72 months on each of the deadly weapons elements attached to the underlying robbery counts. Simpson elected to have the consecutive deadly weapons elements for these charges aggregated with the weapons elements for kidnapping above. We’ll discuss the aggregation process later.

(9) ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON (First Count – Bruce Fromong).
(10) ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON (Second Count – Alfred Beardsley).

Charged on the original criminal complaint, Simpson was convicted at trial and sentenced to 18 to 72 months in state prison. The sentencing judge required that these charges be served consecutive to the robbery charges above. Simpson began serving his time on these charges when he was granted parole in 2013 on the underlying robbery charges.

(11) COERCION WITH USE OF A DEADLY WEAPON (Bruce Fromong – Alternate to Charge 5).

Charged on the original criminal complaint, this charge was an alternative to charge (5) (first-degree kidnapping). Simpson was convicted at trial; however, because this was an alternative charge, it was dismissed prior to sentencing.

(12) COERCION WITH USE OF A DEADLY WEAPON (Alfred Beardsley – Alternate to Charge 6).

This charge was not part of the original eleven-count criminal complaint. It was added later. Simpson was convicted at trial; however, because this charge was an alternative to charge (6), it was dismissed prior to sentencing.

HOW DOES AGGREGATION WORK?

Simpson elected to aggregate his consecutive weapons sentences attached to the two kidnapping and two robbery charges. Therefore, for charges (5), (6), (7), and (8), that’s a minimum of 12 months of additional time which Simpson had to serve in addition to the underlying charge. However, the four 12 month sentences, though consecutive to the underlying charges, could be served together. So, Simpson had to spend an additional 12 months in prison after his 2013 parole date for charges (5), (6), (7), and (8).

HOW DID WE GET TO THE 2017 PAROLE HEARING?

Simpson’s aggregated weapons enhancers required a 12 month minimum sentence. After serving that time, Simpson had to serve additional consecutive (back to back) sentences on the two assault charges. Each assault charge required separate 18-month minimum sentences.

After the 2013 parole hearing, Simpson had to serve a minimum of 12 + 18 + 18 months in prison, or a total of 48 months (four years). Four years later, here we are, with another parole hearing on July 20, 2017.

The maximum aggregated sentence, after all the math is done, is 216 months (18 years), starting from the 2013 parole. If the parole board so chooses, Simpson could remain in jail for quite some time.

WHAT ABOUT CREDIT FOR TIME SERVED?

Because O.J. made bail rather quickly after his Nevada arrest, he only received credit for 64 days of time served at sentencing.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THE PAROLE BOARD TODAY?

The parole board today will consider three charges:

  • One Assault with a Deadly Weapon (as to Bruce Fromong);
  • One Assault with a Deadly Weapon (as to Alfred Beardsley); and
  • Four Aggregated Deadly Weapons charges (from the original two kidnapping and two robbery charges).

 

Beth Karas, Cathy Russon, and Rachel Stockman contributed to this report. A massive spreadsheet was also of assistance.

This story has been updated.

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