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Pistorius Returns to Court for Sentencing Hearing

  • VOA Staff

FILE: Escorted by police and security, Oscar Pistorius leaves the court in Pretoria, South Africa, Sept. 12, 2014.

FILE: Escorted by police and security, Oscar Pistorius leaves the court in Pretoria, South Africa, Sept. 12, 2014.

South African runner Oscar Pistorius is back in a Pretoria court for a hearing to determine his sentence for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, last year.

Pistorius is facing up to 15 years in prison after being convicted in September of culpable homicide in a trial that spanned six months.

His lawyers will argue for leniency at the hearing that began Monday and is expected to take several days.

Pistorius admitted to shooting Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door at his home, but said he thought he was firing at a nighttime intruder.

Prosecutors argued at the trial that the shooting was intentional, but Judge Thokozile Masipa cleared the athlete of more serious murder charges.

Pistorius has been free on bail since the trial ended.

He is known as the "blade runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs, and was the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics.

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