Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympic sprinter convicted of manslaughter 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 should 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 restaurant and was given a three-year 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 media Monday.
Pistorius, a double amputee, has always maintained that he believed at the time of the shooting that Steenkamp 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 alleged 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.
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