mugshot*O.J. Simpson may be one step closer to becoming a free man, as he will have a July 20 hearing before the Nevada Board of Parole to decide whether he will be released from prison

If paroled, he could be released as early as October.

Simpson is serving a nine-to-33-year sentence for his role in a 2007 incident in a Las Vegas hotel room. He has served nine years so far at the Lovelock Correctional Facility.

The 69-year-old former NFL icon was found guilty of stealing his own sports memorabilia back from some dudes holding it hostage at the hotel. At his 2008 sentencing, Simpson said he was trying to reclaim family heirlooms and other personal items that had been taken from him. He claims he didn’t know his associates were armed, per CNN.

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On Thursday, Simpson’s sister, Shirley Baker sat down with Inside Edition to dish about what it’s been like for O.J. behind prison walls, as well as his upcoming release.

“There’s no reason why not,” said Shirley Baker. “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.”

Shirley talks to her brother every week by phone and only gets to visit him four times a year. But she says it was her last visit that means the most because of their embrace:

“It was the first time in eight years I was able to put my arms around him,” she told Inside Edition of her visit to see her brother. “When he first comes out we can hug and embrace and we sit down at the table.”

She also explained how O.J. is runnin’ things in prison…literally.

“He is in charge of the gym,” she said. “He is the boss. He makes sure all of the equipment is clean.”

Watch her interview via the clip below: