Saturday, December 6, 2008

O.J. Simpson prepares for prison

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – More than a decade after O.J. Simpson stunned much of America by walking away from a murder trial a free man, the onetime football great known for unbridled speed was preparing to spend in prison what should have been the prime years of a superstar's retirement.

The 61-year-old former athlete, Hollywood actor and pioneering symbol of African-American celebrity success was sentenced on Friday to as much as 33 years behind bars, with eligibility for parole after nine, for a robbery caper in Las Vegas last year.

As the retired football hero once known as "The Juice" was led away in shackles, many who have followed his downward spiral over the years still wondered how a figure who inspired a generation could have fallen so far from grace.

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