Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years for murder of Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius
CORRECTS TO THURSDAY - FILE - In this Thursday Sept. 11, 2015 file photo, Oscar Pistorius reacts in the dock as Judge Thokozile Masipa delivers her verdict during his murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa. The appeals court in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Thursday, Dec. 3 2015, convicted Pistorius of murder, overturning a lower court's conviction of the double-amputee Olympian on the lesser charge of manslaughter for shooting his girlfriend to death in 2013. (AP Photo/Kim Ludbrook, File, Pool)

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius stood and faced Judge Thokozile Masipa as she announced the sentence in a South African courtroom on Wednesday.

Pistorius was facing a possible 15-year jail term for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet cubicle door at his home in 2013, but Masipa said substantial and compelling circumstances existed in the double-amputee Olympic runner’s case to give him a lesser sentence.

Steenkamp’s parents, Barry and June, were present in the courtroom, which was packed with relatives of both Pistorius and Steenkamp and other observers.

In reading out the sentence, Judge Masipa said Pistorius was a “fallen hero.”

The judge ordered a recess to give prosecutors and Pistorius’ defense lawyers time to decide if either wanted to appeal the sentence.

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