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Oscar Pistorius Offered Money to Reeva Steenkamp's Family: Witness

Oscar Pistorius made monthly payments to the family of his slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a probation officer told his sentencing Tuesday.

PRETORIA, South Africa - Oscar Pistorius has made monthly payments to the family of his slain girlfriend, a probation officer testified Tuesday at the double-amputee sprinter’s sentencing hearing. The Olympian also offered a lump sum of $34,000 to the family Reeva Steenkamp after he killed her, but they rejected it because they did not want "blood money," a prosecutor said.

The revelations emerged as a court heard evidence on what Pistorius' punishment should be for shooting Steenkamp. The 'Blade Runner' was “clearly a broken person” who had shown “genuine remorse," defense witness and probation officer Annette Vergeer said. Describing the lack of facilities for disabled inmates, she said jail time would be unsuitable for Pistorius and would "break" him.

Pistorius could receive anything from a suspended sentence and a fine to up to 15 years in prison after being convicted last month of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, in Steenkamp’s death. Testimony at the hearing, which began Monday in front of judge Thokozile Masipa, is expected to take up to one week. At Monday’s hearing, prosecutor Gerrie Nel criticized the suggestion that the athlete should be given correctional supervision instead of a jail sentence, saying that would amount to "no sentence" at all.

Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate, died in a hail of bullets. Prosecutors alleged Pistorius killed her after the couple argued. The runner testified that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.



- Cheryll Simpson and Alastair Jamieson

The Associated Press contributed to this report.