Oscar Pistorius Gets 5 Years

Judge hands down prison term for culpable homicide
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 21, 2014 3:58 AM CDT
Updated Oct 21, 2014 7:03 AM CDT
Pistorius Gets 5 Years
In this April 7, 2014, photo, Oscar Pistorius weeps as he listens to evidence by a pathologist in court in Pretoria, South Africa.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool)

Oscar Pistorius was sentenced today to five years in prison for killing Reeva Steenkamp by a South African judge who cited the "gross negligence" the runner showed when he shot his girlfriend multiple times through a toilet cubicle door in his home. Legal experts say Pistorius could be released after 10 months in jail to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. Judge Thokozile Masipa also sentenced Pistorius to three years in prison for unlawfully firing a gun in a restaurant in a separate incident weeks before Steenkamp's 2013 shooting death. She ordered that sentence to be wholly suspended.

Masipa delivered her ruling after reviewing prosecution arguments for a tough sentence, as well as the defense's case for a more lenient punishment. Pistorius stood as the judge announced his sentence, then left the courtroom and walked down a flight of stairs that led to holding cells. His sentence starts immediately. Pistorius killed Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year, shooting her through a bathroom door in his home. Pistorius testified that the shooting was an accident because he mistook his girlfriend for a nighttime intruder. Masipa convicted him of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, but acquitted him of murder. (Read more Reeva Steenkamp stories.)

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