Oscar Pistorious gets 5 years for killing Reeva Steenkamp

South African Olympian Oscar Pistorious was taken away in a police van today to begin his 5-year prison sentence for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa cited the “gross negligence” the double-amputee showed when he fired shots through a toilet cubicle door in his home. Pistorious claimed during his trial that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he fired the shots that took her life.

Masipa said in her sentencing:

“I am of the view that a non-custodial sentence would send a wrong message to the community. On the other hand, a long sentence would not be appropriate either as it would lack the element of mercy.”

Last month Masipa found Pistorious guilty of culpable homicide in the high-profile case but acquitted him of murder. The defense and prosecution now have 14 days to decide whether or not to appeal the judge’s sentencing decision.

Prosecutors are disappointed in the culpable homicide ruling and are considering a possible appeal of the sentencing.

Legal experts state that Pistorious will likely end up only serving approximately 10 months of his sentence before being moved to house arrest.

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