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Jul 31, 2013 3:44 PM by Eric Ross

Simpson said to be grateful for parole board decision, but still faces years behind bars

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A lawyer for O.J. Simpson says the former NFL star is "very happy and grateful" to hear that he's been granted parole on some of his convictions for kidnapping and armed robbery.

Those charges stemmed from the holdup of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel.

But Simpson still faces at least four more years behind bars on sentences that were ordered to run consecutively.

In announcing its decision today, the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners noted what they called Simpson's "positive institutional record." And the panel noted that he has no previous criminal convictions.

The parole becomes effective in October. Then, Simpson starts serving the minimum term on four concurrent sentences imposed for using a weapon during the 2007 robbery. He will have another parole hearing on those sentences in a year.

A spokesman for the parole board says Simpson then faces two more consecutive terms for assault with a deadly weapon.

Simpson appeared before a two-member parole panel last Thursday to plead for leniency. He expressed regret for his action and said he's tried to be a model inmate.

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