Former football legend OJ Simpson became a free man again Sunday after serving nine years for a botched hotel-room heist in Las Vegas that brought the prison time he avoided in the killings of his ex-wife and her friend after his 1995 acquittal in the "trial of the century." Simpson was released at 12:08am PDT from Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada, state prisons rep Brooke Keast told the AP. She did not know the driver who met Simpson and didn't know where Simpson was headed in his first hours of freedom. Neither Simpson's attorney, Malcolm LaVergne in Las Vegas, nor state Parole and Probation Capt. Shawn Arruti, who has been handling Simpson's case, immediately responded to messages. Keast said the dead-of-night release was conducted to avoid media attention. "We needed to do this to ensure public safety and to avoid any possible incident," Keast added.
Unlike the last time the 70-year-old went free, 22 years ago, he will face restrictions—up to five years of parole—and he's unlikely to escape public scrutiny as the man who morphed from charismatic football hero, movie star, and TV personality into suspected killer and convicted armed robber. Simpson was looking forward to reuniting with his family, eating a steak and seafood and moving back to Florida, LaVergne said recently. Simpson also plans to get an iPhone and get reacquainted with technology that was in its infancy when he was sent to prison in 2008. The Florida Department of Corrections, however, said officials had not received a transfer request or required documents, and the attorney general said the state didn't want him. "The specter of his residing in comfort in Florida should not be an option," she said Friday. "Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal." (Read more OJ Simpson stories.)