Oscar Pistorius, the world’s most famous Paralympic athlete, was sentenced today to six years in prison for the 2013 Valentine’s Day murder of his girlfriend, Reeve Steenkamp.
Pistorius remains in a holding cell where he will be taken straight to prison. His defense team will not appeal the sentencing. However, due to good behavior, he could be eligible for parole within a few years.
Pistorius, 27, was found guilty of culpable homicide – similar to manslaughter – in September 2014. Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled the athlete had acted negligently when he shot Steenkamp through his bathroom door in his Pretoria home, but that his actions weren’t intentional, and sentenced him to five years in prison.
He spent a year behind bars in Pretoria before being granted parole and released in October.
However, the Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the verdict last December. The appeals judge found the runner guilty of murder, saying that Pistorius should have known firing his gun would have killed whoever was behind the door, regardless of who he thought it was.
The National Prosecuting Authority has said it wanted Pistorius to spend a minimum of 15 years in prison for Steenkamp’s murder. The Paralympic athlete still claims it was an accident.
Pistorius' attempt to overturn the upgraded murder conviction failed earlier this year.
The hearing is being presided over by Judge Thokozile Masipa, the trial judge who originally convicted Pistorius of culpable homicide.
Pistorius competed at the Olympic Games in London in 2012, making history as the first amputee allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes.