Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Olympic runner will immediately begin serving time for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Published October 21, 2014

Just over a month after being found guilty of culpable homicide, Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years in prison for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

South African Judge Thokozile Masipa cited "gross negligence" Tuesday that the double-amputee Olympian showed when he shot Steenkamp several times through a bathroom door in his home last Valentine's Day, according to the Associated Press. Pistorius, 27, began serving his sentence immediately upon its ruling Tuesday. Pistorius could serve the remainder of his sentence on house arrest after spending 10 months in jail, legal experts told the AP. 

"The following is what I consider is a sentence that is fair and just both to society and the accused," Masipa said when announcing her decision, as reported by the AP. Pistorius could have been serving substantially more time if he wasn't found not guilty of premeditated murder last month.

At the same hearing, Masipa also sentenced Pistorius to three years in prison for illegally firing a gun inside a restaurant in a separate 2013 incident, but suspended the sentence for five years as long as Pistorius isn't found guilty of another firearm violation.

Prosecutors will have up to 14 days to review the decision and appeal it if they want. They did mention, however, that they are satisfied that at least Pistorius will spend some time in prison. Steenkamp's parents attended the hearing Tuesday.

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(Photo: AP Photo, File)

Written by BET-Staff

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