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Track sensation, found guilty of murder, now released on parole. Oscar Pistorius’s life progression presented

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Major points in the life of Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee Olympic runner who was released from prison on parole Friday having served nearly nine years of a murder sentence for the 2013 killing of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius, 37, will have to live under strict conditions until his full sentence of 13 years and five months expires on Dec. 5, 2029.

Nov. 22, 1986 — Pistorius is born with a congenital condition where he has no fibula bones. His legs are amputated below the knee before he is a year old.

May 16, 2008 — Already a multiple Paralympic champion, Pistorius wins a ruling at sport’s highest court that overturns a previous ban and allows him to compete against able-bodied athletes at the world’s biggest track events on his specially designed carbon-fiber running blades.

Aug. 4, 2012 — Pistorius achieves his dream of participating in the Olympics. He secures the second position in a heat in the 400 meters to qualify for the semifinals in London but doesn’t make it to the final. “Blade Runner” still creates history as the first double-amputee to race at the Olympics and becomes one of the most identifiable athletes globally.

Feb. 14, 2013 — Pistorius is at the peak of his fame when South African police announce that he has been arrested in connection with the Valentine’s Day shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his villa in the capital, Pretoria. The bombshell news reverberates around the world when Pistorius is charged with murder for shooting the 29-year-old model and law graduate multiple times through a toilet cubicle door in the predawn hours.

Mar. 3, 2014 — Pistorius’ murder trial begins at the Pretoria High Court under the glare of the world’s media, which is permitted to film the court proceedings live. While Pistorius claims he shot Steenkamp by mistake believing she was a dangerous intruder in his home, prosecutors allege he killed her intentionally in a late-night argument. During his dramatic seven-month trial, Pistorius cries, wails and at times vomits in the courtroom as prosecutors describe Steenkamp’s fatal shooting. He also undergoes a psychiatric evaluation. The trial shatters his image as prosecutors say he has a history of angry outbursts, being verbally abusive towards girlfriends, and acting recklessly with guns.

Sept. 12, 2014 — Pistorius is acquitted of murder by a judge but found guilty of a charge comparable to manslaughter for killing Steenkamp. He is also convicted on a separate charge relating to him and a group of friends recklessly firing a gun under a table in a restaurant. He is sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter. Prosecutors say they will appeal the “shockingly light” sentence.

Dec. 3, 2015 — A panel of judges at South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal overturns Pistorius’ manslaughter conviction and finds him guilty of murder. The trial judge sentences him to six years in prison for murder, which prosecutors again appeal.

Nov. 24, 2017 — The Supreme Court of Appeal more than doubles Pistorius’ sentence to 13 years and five months in prison. Pistorius had been first jailed at the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria, a notorious apartheid-era jail. He is moved to the city’s Atteridgeville Correctional Centre, which officials say is better suited to disabled prisoners.

Jun. 22, 2022 — Pistorius meets face-to-face with Steenkamp’s father, Barry Steenkamp, as part of a victim-offender dialogue that he must undertake if he wants to be eligible to be released on parole. Barry Steenkamp, who died last year, says after the meeting that he still believes Pistorius is lying about his daughter’s killing and wants him to stay in prison for life.

Mar. 31, 2023 — Pistorius attends a parole hearing but is denied early release. The Department of Corrections says he hasn’t served the required time in prison and will only be eligible in August 2024. Authorities later concede that was an error due to a miscount by a court over how long Pistorius had already served in prison before his sentence was changed in 2017.

Nov. 24, 2023 — Pistorius is granted parole at a second hearing and officials say he will be released Jan. 5, although he will still be strictly monitored for the next five years until he has served his entire sentence.


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