Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius to be released from prison on parole after killing girlfriend

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Oscar Pistorius, a former Paralympic gold medalist and Olympic runner from South Africa, was granted parole Friday, 10 years after he shot and killed his girlfriend in his home.

The runner will be released from prison Jan. 5 and begin five years of parole monitoring, South African officials said.

Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day 2013. Pistorius shot through a bathroom door, killing Steenkamp, whom he believed was an intruder, he claimed at trial.

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Prosecutors argued that Steenkamp fled to the bathroom to escape Pistorius, who shot her in a rage.

He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 13 years, five months in prison after years of appeals.

Conditions of the parole include a mandatory domestic violence course and staying inside the city of Pretoria, South Africa, without prior permission to leave. He will also have to perform community service.

“Parole does not mean the end of the sentence. It is still part of the sentence. It only means the inmate will complete the sentence outside a correctional facility,” Department of Corrections spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said, according to The Associated Press. “What will happen is that Mr. Pistorius will be allocated a monitoring official. This official will work with him until his sentence expires.”

A previous parole hearing in March was denied on procedural grounds. South African prisoners are eligible for parole once half their sentence has been served.

Steenkamp’s mother did not oppose the parole but said she believed that Pistorius had not been fully rehabilitated and was still lying about the killing.

“I do not believe Oscar’s version that he thought the person in the toilet was a burglar,” June Steenkamp said in a statement. “In fact, I do not know anybody who does. My dearest child screamed for her life. … I believe he knew it was Reeva.”

The killing occurred just months after Pistorius became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics, made famous for his carbon fiber running blades. A six-time gold medal winner in the Paralympics, Pistorius was one of the most well-known figures in running when he was arrested.

The Associated Press contributed.

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