Oscar Pistorius murder sentence more than doubled after appeal

Image: Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp in November 2012.Lucky Nxumalo / AFP - Getty Images file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
/ Source: Associated Press
By Alastair Jamieson

Double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius' sentence for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was extended to 13 years and five months by a court on Friday.

South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal increased the sprinter's prison term after prosecutors successfully argued that his original sentence of six years was "shockingly lenient.”

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp in November 2012.Lucky Nxumalo / AFP - Getty Images file

The so-called Blade Runner was not in court Friday when the court handed down the minimum 15-year sentence prescribed for murder in South Africa, and subtracted the time Pistorius had already served in prison.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Pistorius, 30, fired a gun multiple times through a closed bathroom door on Valentine's Day in 2013. The athlete said he thought Steenkamp was a dangerous intruder.

The parents of Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, did not attend the hearing but welcomed the news.

"Their trust in the justice system has been confirmed this morning," said Tania Koen, a spokeswoman for the Steenkamp family. "There has been justice for Reeva. Reeva can now rest in peace."

It was the second successful challenge from prosecutors. In 2015, they overturned Judge Thokozile Masipa's original verdict of culpable homicide — or manslaughter — and secured a murder conviction.

Masipa then sentenced Pistorius to six years in prison, a term just one year longer than her original sentence for manslaughter. The country's National Prosecuting Authority quickly said it would appeal, calling that term "disproportionate," "shockingly too lenient" and "an injustice."

There is no death penalty in South Africa.

Pistorius, who is in a prison near the capital, Pretoria, was treated at a hospital last year for injuries to his wrists.

Chapman Bell contributed.