Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013. Pistorius is the subject of a new ESPN “30 for 30” documentary. He maintains that he did not shoot his girlfriend on purpose.
The ESPN+ four-part documentary titled The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius documents Pistorius’ life up to the Olympics he competed at to now, including details of the night his girlfriend was shot and killed in his home.
After the shooting, Pistorius told investigators that he’d believed there was an intruder in his bathroom, saying that he was scared for his life and shot through the door. He did not realize that the person in the bathroom was Steenkamp prior to beating the door down with a bat, according to The New York Times.
Pistorius Was Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison For Manslaughter
COLUMN: The latest @30for30 debuts today — a 339-minute exploration into the rise & fall of Oscar Pistorius. If you have ESPN+, the documentary is worth your time and here's why:https://t.co/CEbLON0IIN
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) September 27, 2020
According to The New York Times, Pistorius was charged with Culpable Murder, a charge that is comparable to manslaughter in the United States. After the original trial for the case, Pistorius served just 10 months in prison before being released on house arrest. His time behind bars was not over at that point, though.
Later, the charge against Pistorius was changed to murder, and he was then sentenced to additional prison time totalling six years, a separate New York Times report stated. Then, Pistorius’ sentence was changed again just two years later. At that time, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
That 15-year sentence is the average minimum sentence for murder in South Africa, according to the New York Times. Pistorius got credit for time served, so he was to serve an additional 13 years and five months following the latest sentencing hearing.
Since then, Pistorius tried to appeal the conviction. According to SportsCasting.com, Pistorius will be eligible for parole starting in 2023.
Pistorius Maintains That He Did Not Purposefully Shoot Steenkamp
"It wasn't a who done it … it was why done it?"
"The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius" premieres Sunday. pic.twitter.com/kkXHAommgO
— ESPN (@espn) September 25, 2020
According to reports by The Guardian during the trial, Pistorius maintained his innocence the entire time, pleading not guilty to murder and firearm charges. He said he believed that there was an intruder in his bathroom when he fired the gun at the door.
ABC News reported Pistorius’ story with a timeline that included going to bed at around 10 p.m. with fans near the balcony because the air conditioning wasn’t working in his condo. That meant that any other sounds would have been harder to hear. The timeline published indicated that Pistorius said he could not sleep due to humidity and heard a window opening in his bathroom when he was moving things around to make the bedroom more comfortable.
Believing Steenkamp was still in bed, Pistorius said he grabbed the gun he kept beneath the left side of the bed and whispered to his girlfriend to call the police, ABC News wrote. He said he yelled to the person in the bathroom to get out of his house but felt vulnerable because he was not wearing his prosthetics.
According to the timeline, that was when he fired four shots into the bathroom door and traveled back to the bedroom. Once there, he realized that Steenkamp was not in bed where he believed she was and realized she may have been in the bathroom. That’s when he smashed the door in and found Steenkamp shot in the bathroom.
He called for an ambulance at 3:20 a.m.; a paramedic later told him Steenkamp was dead.