Pistorius granted $688 bail, awaits murder sentence

By Ed Adamczyk  |  Dec. 8, 2015 at 7:19 AM
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PRETORIA, South Africa, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A court in South Africa on Tuesday granted bail in the amount of $688 for Oscar Pistorius, a former Olympic track runner awaiting sentencing for the 2013 death of his girlfriend.

The 29-year-old was released from imprisonment after his lawyer submitted a bail affidavit saying he had no income and could only offer up $688 in bail. He remains under house arrest after serving one year of a five-year sentence for culpable homicide.

Pistorius faces up to 15 years in prison after an appeals court overturned his culpable homicide conviction and found him guilty of the more serious charge of murder for the death of 28-year-old Reva Steenkamp.

The judge has the discretion to hand down a sentence of less than 15 years for Pistorius. Sentencing is scheduled for April 18, though his lawyer said Pistorius would appeal the murder conviction.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp in February 2013 through a door in his home, believing, he said in court, she was an intruder. Last week South Africa's Court of Appeal, accepting the claim of the prosecution, said the lower court trying his case did not correctly interpret that Pistorius, trained to use the gun he owned, should have been aware a death would likely be the outcome of his actions. The court then increased his charge from culpable homicide, the rough equivalent of manslaughter in the United States, to murder.

Arguably the most famous living South African, double amputee Pistorius won gold medals in the Paralympics, running on flexible blades instead of legs, and represented his country in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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