Oscar Pistorius Defense Files Papers Opposing State’s Appeal

The defense for Oscar Pistorius said the athlete filed papers opposing the state’s application to appeal the South African paralympian’s culpable homicide conviction and sentence for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa correctly found that prosecutors couldn’t prove Pistorius had an intention to kill his model girlfriend when he fired four hollow-point bullets through a locked toilet door at his home, according to the papers filed this week, defense attorney Brian Webber said today by phone. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued in an eight-month trial at the High Court in Pretoria, the capital, that the athlete murdered Steenkamp.

Masipa cleared Pistorius, 27, of murder charges last month before sentencing him for five years in jail on a conviction of manslaughter for the death in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day last year. Pistorius, who says he thought Steenkamp was an intruder in his home, can be transferred to house arrest after spending 10 months in jail, under the terms of the sentencing.

The sentence handed down to Pistorius was “inappropriate and shockingly light for someone that killed an innocent person with gross negligence where his conduct bordered on dolus eventualis,” or murder, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority argued in its Nov. 4 application to have the jail term and verdict reviewed.

Masipa, as the presiding judge in the case, will rule on Dec. 9 whether the appeal may proceed.

Known as the Blade Runner because of his J-shaped prosthetic blades, Pistorius was the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Olympic Games. His trial drew a worldwide audience and derailed the running career of the winner of six Paralympic gold medals and cost Pistorius sponsorship deals with Nike Inc. and Luxottica Group SpA’s Oakley.

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