Pistorius: Reeva Wouldn't Want Me Jailed for Long

Athlete gives first TV interview since shooting his girlfriend
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2016 7:03 AM CDT
Pistorius: Reeva Wouldn't Want Me Jailed for Long
Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Reeva Steenkamp wouldn't want Oscar Pistorius behind bars for long—according to Oscar Pistorius. In his first TV interview since killing the model in his Pretoria apartment on Valentine's Day 2013, the 29-year-old former Olympian says he deserves a prison sentence but doesn't want to "waste my life" in jail. "If I was afforded the opportunity of redemption I would like to help the less fortunate like I had in my past," he tells ITV, per the Guardian. "I would like to believe that if Reeva could look down upon me that she would want me to live that life." Pistorius—who now faces a minimum sentence of 15 years for murder after his manslaughter conviction was upgraded—maintains that he was trying to protect Steenkamp when he fired four shots into his bathroom door, fearing an intruder was on the other side. Prosecutors say he killed her in a jealous rage.

Pistorius says he awoke to a noise in the bathroom and whispered for Reeva to get on the ground and call police. "Before I knew it I'd fired four shots," he says. When he couldn't find Steenkamp, Pistorius says he broke down the door and found her dead. "I'm trying to pick her up but there's so much blood I can't stand up," he says. "I can smell the blood. I can feel the warmness of it on my hands." The Telegraph reports Pistorius' legal team was apparently against the interview, which contains "moments of prolonged sobbing and even howling," per the Guardian. State prosecutor Gerry Nel calls it "disrespectful," questioning why Pistorius could give an interview when a psychologist found he was too "anxious and depressed" to testify at sentencing, per the New Zealand Herald. The interview airs Friday on 20/20, reports ABC News. (More Oscar Pistorius stories.)

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