Oscar Pistorius timeline: How we got here

2016-07-06 07:43
Oscar Pistorius. (Picture courtesy Carte Blanche)

Oscar Pistorius. (Picture courtesy Carte Blanche)

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Cape Town - Oscar Pistorius has heard his sentence for murder in the High Court in Pretoria, and will serve six years in prison.

See a timeline of the events that led to his arrest, judgment, re-judgment, and re-sentencing:

February 14, 2013: Neighbours of Oscar Pistorius in Silver Woods Estate call police and complain about a noise disturbance at 01:30.

Pistorius shoots and kills Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius arrives at the Boschkop police station, where he spends the night.

February 15, 2013: Pistorius arrives at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court with his lawyers and family.

A case of premeditated murder is opened against Pistorius.

February 19, 2013: Pistorius appears in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court for his bail hearing. He cries uncontrollably as his affidavit is read. He insists he did not plan to kill Steenkamp and that he loved her. 

Steenkamp is laid to rest in her hometown of Port Elizabeth. Her funeral service is held at the Victoria Park Crematorium.

February 22, 2013: Pistorius is granted bail of R1 million. The case is postponed to June 4.

May 31, 2013: Sky News released images of the bloodied bathroom where Steenkamp was shot.

August 13, 2013: Police conclude the investigation of Pistorius.

August 19, 2013: Trial date set. Pistorius appears in the dock. The matter is transferred to the High Court in Pretoria and is scheduled to run from March 3 to March 20, 2014.

February 25, 2014: Judge Dunstan Mlambo rules media houses are able to broadcast parts of the murder trial.

Trial starts

March 3, 2014: The first witness testifies to hearing "blood-curdling" screams before the sound of four gunshots on the night the double-amputee Olympian killed his girlfriend.

April 7, 2014: Pistorius takes the stand, and begins his testimony with an apology to Steenkamp's family. "There hasn't been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven't thought about your family," he says.

April 9, 2014: Pistorius is cross-examined. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel urges Pistorius to "take responsibility" for fatally shooting his girlfriend, pushing him to look at a police photograph of Steenkamp's bloodied head displayed in court.

Sept 11-12, 2014: Pistorius is found guilty of culpable homicide. He is not found guilty of murder. Pistorius is granted bail until his sentencing.

October 21, 2014: Pistorius is sentenced to five years in jail.

Appeal and release

November 5, 2014: The National Prosecuting Authority says it intends to appeal the culpable homicide verdict and the fi­ve-year sentence. Pistorius should be charged with murder, which carries a prison term of at least 15 years, the NPA argues.

June 8, 2015: It is announced that Pistorius will be released under house arrest on August 21 after spending 10 months in prison.

August 17, 2015: The NPA files its appeal with the Supreme Court of Appeal.

August 19, 2015: The justice ministry puts the decision to free Pistorius on hold, saying it had no legal basis.

September 27, 2015: Pistorius's defence submits its papers to the SCA.

October 19, 2015: Pistorius is released on house arrest one day ahead of the publicised date, in an apparent bid to avoid media attention.

Culpable homicide verdict replaced with murder

December 3, 2015: The Supreme Court of Appeal releases its ruling. It replaces Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction with murder. He should have foreseen the deadly impact his four bullets would have in a small bathroom, it finds.

December 8, 2015: Pistorius returns to the High Court in Pretoria. He is granted bail of R10 000.

January 11, 2016: Oscar files papers with the Constitutional Court to appeal the murder conviction.

March 3, 2016: The Constitutional Court dismisses Pistorius's application for leave to appeal. Re-sentencing set down for June.

Sentencing begins

June 13-15, 2016: Oscar returns to the High Court in Pretoria for arguments in mitigation and aggravation of sentence.

Barry Steenkamp, Reeva's father, takes the stand for the first time for the State. He asks for photos of his daughter, taken at the scene of her murder, to be released

Gerrie Nel asks for a minimum of 15 years. Barry Roux asks for leniency, after Oscar demonstrates walking on his stumps before the court.

June 24, 2016: ITV airs an interview with Pistorius.

July 6, 2016: Judge Masipa hands down her sentence. Oscar will serve six years in prison.

Judge Masipa acknowledges the "serious nature" of the crime, but cites many mitigating factors, and believes long-term imprisonment "would not serve justice" in this case.

She emphasizes that Oscar has shown remorse, and the court cannot rule by public opinion.

Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  pretoria  |  pistorius trial

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