OJ's parole hearing will require special arrangements for media

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LOVELOCK, Nev. (KOLO) There's little sign on the quiet streets of this farming community that its most famous resident has spent the last nine years a few miles up Interstate 80 or that he could be leaving later this year.

But for a day or two later this summer, Lovelock's name will be linked with his, and briefly this town will be a dateline known around the world.

OJ Simpson, Hall of Fame running back, formerly accused and acquitted of murder, has been in prison in Lovelock since his 2008 conviction on armed robbery and kidnapping charges from an incident in a Las Vegas hotel room during which he held two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint. He said he was only trying to recover his own property. The court disagreed, giving him a 33-year sentence.

Since then, save for a court appearance as he sought a new trial, he has been out of the public's sight. All requests for interviews have been routinely rejected by the Department of Corrections. There's little indication Simpson wants media attention.

But in the world at large, interest remains high

He will be eligible for parole sometime this summer, the exact date to be determined, and though parole hearings are held all the time, this one is different for obvious reasons.

Prison spokeswoman Brooke Keast says, "A prison is a controlled environment and we can't just let people come in."

So special arrangements are being made.

The hearing will video-conferenced with Simpson in a small hearing room at the prison, the parole board meeting in Carson City.

Keast says, "We want to try to make preparations to do a live feed so people outside our small environment in the prison can see what's happening through television and we'll do that through Channel 8."

A KOLO 8 News Now camera will be allowed into the prison hearing room to broadcast it to all other broadcast media.

Again, the hearing has not been scheduled. That will happen, we believe, sometime in June with the actual date about 30 days after.

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