Reeva Steenkamp Murder Case: Oscar Pistorius can move to house arrest next week, be released on October 20
May 15, 2016 10:57 PM EDT
Former South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius who shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, to death in 2013, may leave prison and move to house arrest starting next week. A parole board at the prison where the double-amputee Olympic runner has served nearly a year of his five-year sentence for manslaughter made the decision.
The state's Department of Corrections confirmed that the board has decisively "approved the placement of offender Oscar Pistorius under correctional supervision as from 20 October 2015." As noted by New York Times, this comes after the initial ruling to release Pistorius in August was cancelled due to a last-minute intervention by the justice minister.
The 29-year-old athlete was acquitted of murder last year for Reeva Steenkamp's death at his Pretoria home in the early hours of February 14, 2013. He reportedly fired at her through a locked bathroom door, believing there was an intruder hiding inside.
Prosecutors have already filed an appeal for trial verdict, seeking murder conviction again at South Africa's Supreme Court on November 3. Should the paralympian be convicted of murder by a panel of five judges at the said appeal, he is set to go back to jail to serve a 15-year sentence -the minimum punishment for murder in the state.
According to Syndey Morning Herald, Anneliese Burgess, spokesperson for the accused's family, confirmed through a text message that they had already been informed of the decision to release Pistorius, but declined to give a word about it.
Steenkamp's family, on the other hand, are trying to "move on with their lives," according to their lawyer.
"Whether Oscar Pistorius remains incarcerated or is released, it's not going to change anything in their lives," lawyer Tania Koen said. "It makes no difference to them."
Koen, however, added that the victim's family believes a year in prison is not enough for taking a life.
Pistorius, the first amputee runner who ran against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics, is set to serve his house arrest at his uncle's mansion in an upmarket suburb of Pretoria.