Posted: Jun 15, 2016 09:28 AM MDT
Updated: Jun 15, 2016 09:28 AM MDT
With Oscar Pistorius back in court this week to receive new sentencing on an upgraded murder conviction in the shooting death of Reeva Steenkamp, take a look at the case so far.
Pistorius was previously sentenced in October 2014 to a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment for culpable homicide in the Feb. 14, 2013, shooting death of Steenkamp, his South African model girlfriend. He was released after less than a year, to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest.
High court Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled in 2014 that the state had failed to prove that Pistorius intended to kill Steenkamp when he shot her through the door of a bathroom in his Pretoria home. He said he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder hiding in the bathroom.
On a charge related to a shooting from a car's sunroof, Masipa said the state failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Pistorius was also found not guilty of having illegal ammunition at his house because the state failed to introduce evidence that proved he intended to possess the ammunition, which he said he was storing for his father, Masipa said.
The verdict in September 2014 came a day after Masipa cleared Pistorius of murder in Steenkamp's death.
Pistorius did not intend to kill his girlfriend, Masipa said, accepting his defense that he thought someone had broken into his house and that he believed he was defending himself. But in grabbing his gun and heading toward the supposed threat, Pistorius "acted too hastily and used excessive force," Masipa ruled.
Masipa said the prosecution had failed to prove its case that Pistorius and Steenkamp argued on the night of the killing and that the Olympic track star then shot her in a rage. She was not persuaded by the testimony of neighbors who said they heard shouting, screaming and shots, saying the neighbors' stories do not match the timings on phone records the night of the killing.
Weeks before he was sentenced, Pistorius told reporters that he would respect and accept the decision of the court and that he was not afraid of imprisonment.
Under South African law, Pistorius had to serve at least one-sixth of his sentence -- 10 months -- before being released. In August 2015, the justice ministry made a last-minute intervention, blocking his release and asking a parole review board to look at his case.
In a November 2015 hearing, prosecutors argued Masipa's ruling in finding Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide was a misapplication of the principle of "dolus eventualis" -- the legal principle that the perpetrator foresaw that his act could cause death and went ahead nevertheless -- and that Pistorius knew that shooting through the door could cause the death of whomever was inside.
On Dec. 3, 2015, the Appeal Court overturned the culpable homicide verdict and convicted Pistorius of murder. He was granted bail to house arrest five days later pending an appeal to the South African Constitutional Court, which was eventually denied in March 2016.