Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
A judge read the sentence Wednesday morning in Pretoria, calling the double-amputee athlete a “fallen hero.”
South Africa’s minimum sentence for murder is 15 years, but the judge described Pistorius as a “good candidate for rehabilitation” in delivering the lesser sentence.
Following the sentencing, the judge ordered a recess to give prosecutors and Pistorius’ defence lawyers time to decide if either wanted to appeal. It remains unclear if either will choose to do so.
Prosecutors sought at least the minimum sentence in prison for the 29-year-old Olympian. His defence lawyers had asked for no jail time at all for Pistorius, but rather allow him to do charity work with children.
Pistorius killed Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and reality TV star, on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
He shot her several times through a toilet cubicle door in his home.
While Pistorius maintained he killed Steenkamp by mistake thinking she was an intruder, prosecutors argued he killed her intentionally after an argument erupted between the couple.
In 2014, Pistorius was acquitted of murder by a South African judge following a seven-month trial. Instead, he was convicted of manslaughter and served one year in prison.
Prosecutors appealed to South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal before Pistorius’ conviction was upgraded to murder.
The Olympic runner was known for overcoming his disability after having both legs amputated below the knees when he was 11 months old because of a congenital defect.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, he became the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics.
With files from Rana Aladdin