Simpson was released from prison and out on parole after serving nine years for armed robbery, Nevada Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Keast confirmed Sunday morning.
She said he was released from Lovelock Correctional Center in Northern Nevada at 12:08 a.m. Sunday, just minutes after he was eligible for release. He had been expected to be taken to High Desert State Prison outside Las Vegas, but Keast said the high-profile nature of the case and public safety concerns prompted officials to release him directly from Lovelock.
"We had to make sure that we could do this safely and without incident," Keast said. "And we did."
Keast said she did not know Simpson's destination after his release or who picked him up.
She said it was out of the ordinary for a prisoner to be released on a weekend, but she said officials worried a media presence could prove dangerous to Simpson, corrections staff and the surrounding communities.