Pis­to­rius could leave pri­son soon

Sprinter who fa­tally shot his girl­friend may serve only 10 months of five-year sen­tence.

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD - By Robyn Dixon robyn.dixon@la­times.com Twit­ter: @robyn­dixon_LAT

JO­HAN­NES­BURG, South Africa — Os­car Pis­to­rius, the South African Olympic sprinter con­victed in the death of his girl­friend, could be re­leased from pri­son in Au­gust af­ter serv­ing 10 months of a five-year sen­tence.

South Africa’s pa­role board last week heard a rec­om­men­da­tion from the Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices that Pis­to­rius be placed un­der cor­rec­tional su­per­vi­sion at his home from Aug. 21, lo­cal me­dia re­ported Mon­day. His re­lease would be con­tin­gent on his con­tin­ued good be­hav­ior dur­ing his re­main­ing time in jail.

Pis­to­rius ad­mit­ted to shoot­ing Reeva Steenkamp through a toi­let cu­bi­cle door in his bath­room on Valen­tine’s Day in 2013, but pros­e­cu­tors failed to con­vince the court that he had in­tended to kill her af­ter an ar­gu­ment.

In­stead, the court found that he was reck­less and neg­li­gent when he fired four high-pow­ered bul­lets through the door, and con­victed him of cul­pa­ble homi­cide, the equiv­a­lent of man­slaugh­ter. He was also con­victed of neg­li­gently fir­ing a pis­tol in a crowded restau- rant and was given a three­year suspended sen­tence for that crime.

South African pros­e­cu­tors have ap­pealed Pis­to­rius’ ac­quit­tal on a mur­der charge. That case will be heard by the South African Supreme Court of Ap­peal in Novem­ber, the court’s reg­is­trar, Paul My­burgh, told lo­cal news me­dia Mon­day.

Pis­to­rius, a dou­ble am­putee, has al­ways main­tained that he be­lieved at the time of the shoot­ing that the per­son in the toi­let cu­bi­cle was an in­truder who posed a threat to him.

Ta­nia Koen, a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing Steenkamp’s par­ents, told lo­cal me­dia Mon­day that they were shocked at the re­ports that Pis­to­rius could be re­leased in Au­gust. June and Barry Steenkamp had made a sub­mis­sion to the pa­role board that 10 months was too short a time for Pis­to­rius to be be­hind bars for the killing of their daugh­ter.

Af­ter his con­vic­tion last year, Pis­to­rius was placed in the hos­pi­tal wing of Kgosi Mam­puru II pri­son in Pre­to­ria. In March, video sur­faced of him play­ing soc­cer with an ac­cused gang­ster, Radovan Kre­j­cir, who is fac­ing trial on mur­der and kid­nap­ping charges.

“Os­car Pis­to­rius is gonna be out of jail faster than Reeva’s body could turn in her grave. De­spi­ca­ble,” South African co­me­dian Simmi Ar­eff tweeted.

Siphiwe Sibeko AFP/Getty Images

OS­CAR PIS­TO­RIUS, shown at his trial, faces pros­e­cu­tors’ ap­peal of his ac­quit­tal on mur­der charges.

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