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Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years for murder of girlfriend

By Shawn Price
Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years for murder of girlfriend
Oscar Pistorius, shown in this file photo at the London 2012 Summer Olympics in 2012, was sentenced Wednesday to six years for the murder of his girlfriend model Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013, in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo by UPI/Terry Schmitt | License Photo

PRETORIA, South Africa, July 6 (UPI) -- South African Olympic star Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius was immediately taken to jail. The verdict, less than half of the typical 15-year-minimum sentence he was expected to receive, comes after his five-year conviction for manslaughter was thrown out and changed to murder last December on appeal. Pistorius has already served one year in jail.

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In the hour-long hearing, Judge Thokozile Masipa said circumstances such as rehabilitation and remorse, outweighed other factors and dictated dropping the prescribed 15-year sentence for murder.

Barring appeal, the sentencing ends the drama that began on in February 2013 -- when the Olympic sprinter fired four shots through his bathroom door, killing Steenkamp.

The amputee track star said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder and shot in self-defense. The prosecution argued Pistorius could be violent and murdered his girlfriend after a late-night argument.

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