According to a report published by The Guardian, Oscar Pistorius, a former South African Paralympic athlete who was sentenced to prison in 2016 for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has been denied parole, South African prison authorities said on Friday.
Pistorius, once the darling of the Paralympic movement for advocating for greater recognition and acceptance of disabled athletes, murdered Steenkamp, a model and law student, in his bathroom on February 14, 2013, Valentine's Day.
The athlete, nicknamed "Blade Runner" because of his carbon-fibre prosthetic legs, went from public hero to convicted murderer in a trial that drew international attention. He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2016, but that was increased to 13 years after prosecutors who argued it was too lenient filed an appeal.
At a press conference on Friday, the Department of Correctional Services stated that the parole board determined that Pistorius, 36, had not completed the minimum detention period required to be considered for parole, and that he will be considered again in a year's time.
According to Tania Koen, Steenkamp's family lawyer, it's a huge relief for Reeva's mother, June Steenkamp, who had previously stated that she was nervous as she arrived at Atteridgeville prison near Pretoria for the closed-door hearing.
June and Barry Steenkamp, the Reeva Steemkamp's parents, had opposed an early release, claiming that the former athlete had not told the truth and had shown no remorse.
"While we appreciate today's decision, it is not cause for a celebration. We miss Reeva terribly and will do so for the rest of our lives.We believe in justice and hope that it prevails," they said in a statement issued through their lawyer.
The basis of the former athlete's lawyer, Julian Knight's, argument for Pistorius' parole consideration was that there don't appear to be any negative factors preventing him from being released on parole because he meets the department's requirements in terms of policies and procedures.
Pistorius, who had his legs amputated as a baby, testified in court that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder when he shot her several times through the bathroom door with ammunition designed to cause the most damage to the human body.State prosecutors accused him of killing Steenkamp on purpose out of jealousy and in a fit of rage, but he denied it, claiming he was deeply in love with her.
Pistorius shuffled through the Pretoria courtroom without his prosthetics to demonstrate how vulnerable he was in the face of an intruder.
The athlete broke down in tears as he told the court that he had fired the shots in an attempt to protect Steenkamp. At the time, the prosecutor accused him of using emotional breakdowns to avoid questioning and was ultimately sentenced.
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