Oscar Pistorius released from South African prison on parole after killing girlfriend

January 5, 2024
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He had spent some time under house arrest during the long appeals process in his case before he was sentenced to nearly 13½ years in prison for Steenkamp’s murder.

He was granted parole in November.

Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp, who was locked in the bathroom of his home in Pretoria.

He argued he shot her in self-defense because he believed she was an intruder hiding in his bathroom. Prosecutors argued that Pistorius got into a late-night argument with Steenkamp and took out his aggression with a 9 mm pistol.

Pistorius was released nearly four months after the death of Barry Steenkamp, 80, the victim’s father, who spent the last years of his life tirelessly working to keep his daughter’s name in the public eye and her killer behind bars.

He and Pistorius met in 2022 as a part of South Africa’s restorative justice program.

“After all these years we are still waiting for him to admit he did it in anger,” Barry Steenkamp told the British newspaper The Daily Mail after the meeting. “That is all we wanted. If he told me the truth, he would have been a free man by now and I would have let the law take its course over his parole.”

Pistorious’ fall from grace was one of the biggest in sports history. Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated when he was an infant, had gained worldwide fame with his inspiring athletic achievements.

He became a world-class sprinter using J-shaped, carbon-fiber prosthetics. He was dubbed the “Blade Runner,” and he won multiple gold medals at the Paralympics of 2004, 2008 and 2012. He reached the height of his fame at the 2012 London Olympics.

Though he didn’t medal, Pistorius won fans around the globe on his way to the semifinals in the 400 meters.

He clocked in at 46.54 seconds in his last heat. Grenadian sprinter Kirani James won the gold medal with a run of 43.94 seconds in the finals.

David K. Li reported from New York City and Zoe Holland from London.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.



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