Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Six Years in Prison For Murder

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Former Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Oscar Pistorius Charged

The 29-year-old double-amputee became known across the entire world as the "Blade Runner" for his tremendous, inspirational achievements.

His career peaked at the 2012 Olympics in London, where he held his own with the best of the best in several elite track and field events.

Then the star fell from grace faster and harder than perhaps anyone.

He fatally shot Reeva Steenkamp through a bathroom door, killing the model in his home in his native South Africa in February 2013.

On Wednesday, Judge Thokozile Masipa said Pistorius had become a "fallen hero" and that his remorse factored into a lenient sentence.

"Recovery is possible, but it will depend mostly on the accused," Masipa said during her ruling in Johannesburg, according to reports.

"The worst is that having taken life of a fellow human being in the manner that he did he cannot be at peace," the judge added.

"He's a fallen hero, he's lost his career and he's ruined financially."

Masipa had previously convicted Pistorius of manslaughter and sentenced him to five years, but he was released on bail during appeal.

In December, an appeals court ruled that the athlete was in fact guilty of murder and sent the case back to Masipa for a new sentence. 

Steenkamp's parents, Barry and June, wiped away tears as the sentence was read; Pistorius could've faced 15 years or even longer.

Pistorius sat stoically as the judge explained her ruling.

Steenkamp was shot multiple times through a locked bathroom door at home, and he always maintained that he acted in self-defense.

Believing that an intruder had barricaded himself in the room, dubious as that sounds, Pistorius says he never meant to shoot Steenkamp.

Defense attorneys even had him remove his prosthetic legs last month and walk across the court room on his stumps as a demonstration.

This, they believed, would show how vulnerable he was and offer some insight into his mental state at the time of the late-night shooting. 

The judge - acting as the sole decision-maker in South Africa's legal and punitive system in murder cases such as this - did not agree. 

Pistorius can still appeal the the latest sentence.

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