Christine Pelisek
June 20, 2017 07:05 PM

O.J. Simpson’s sister Shirley Baker is optimistic that her notorious sibling will be released from prison sometime this year, as he comes up for parole nearly 10 years after being found guilty in an armed robbery.

A parole hearing date is set for July 20 and Simpson could be released as early as October.

“There’s no reason why not,” Baker said in an interview with Inside Edition that aired Tuesday.

“He’s there, he’s doing his time, he abided by the rules,” she said. “And I just hope and pray that they will give him parole.”

Simpson — who was acquitted in the 1994 double slayings of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman (for which he was later found civilly responsible) — was convicted in 2008 for his role in the armed robbery and kidnapping of two sports-memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

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O.J. Simpson in 2008
Steve Marcus-Pool/Getty

The 69-year-old former football star claimed he was trying to get back keepsakes that had been stolen from him and that he had no idea some of the other men were carrying weapons.

But the jury found differently, and he was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison in Nevada.

During the Inside Edition interview, Baker said she talks to Simpson every week by phone and visits him in prison four times a year. She said that guards even have a nickname for him: “Nordberg,” after his role in the Naked Gun film series.

The family of Ronald Goldman has also spoken out this year about the possibility of Simpson’s early release. His sister told Good Morning America in February, “He did a horrible, heinous crime and I have no feeling except rot in hell.”

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