Paralympian Oscar Pistorius to be released from prison after serving only half of murder sentence for killing South African model girlfriend

Infamous South African Olympian, Oscar Pistorius, has been ordered to be released from prison after serving only half of his murder sentence for killing his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.

On Friday, the court ordered the release of Pistorius, 37, from the Atteridgeville Prison in Pretoria effective on Jan. 5, 2024. The decision was made after Pistorius became eligible for parole. According to the courts, he will have to undergo therapy for anger and gender-based violence as a condition of parole, Daily Mail reports.

Pistorius, most famously known as "Blade Runner," shot and killed South African model, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day in 2013. He shot Steenkamp four times through a bathroom door at his home and claimed to the courts that he had mistaken her for an intruder. 

The six-time Paralympic gold medalist was convicted of culpable homicide in Sept. 2014 and was initially sentenced to six years in prison. However, after multiple appeals, the South African Supreme Court overturned the culpable homicide charge and convicted him of murder in 2016. He was then ordered to serve 15 years behind bars.

Pistorius became eligible for parole in early 2023 after serving half of his prison sentence but was denied in March. His next eligibility for parole was set by the court for August 2024. His lawyer appealed the decision on grounds that the board failed to take into account the 16 months Pistorius spent in prison between 2016 and 2017, according to The Associated Press.

Tina Koen, the lawyer for Steenkamp's family, told reporters before the first parole hearing that the model's mother, June Steenkamp, doesn't want Pistorius to be released, saying that she "doesn't feel that he's rehabilitated and hasn't told the truth." Since the killing, Pistorius has maintained his position that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder but the court didn't buy it.

Pistorius's parole will be in effect until September 5, 2029, and he has been ordered not to leave the Waterkloof district. He will reportedly be staying with his uncle in a mansion located in an upscale suburb flooded with millionaire executives.

The trial was highly publicized and shocked the world as Pistorius had just competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, running with prosthetic legs. He finished second in his heat in the 400-meter race but did not advance to the semifinals. In addition, he is a six-time Paralympic gold medalist, according to ABC News.

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