Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius' murder sentence has been more than doubled. While Pistorius had originally been sentenced to six years in prison for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, an appeals court has more than doubled his time in prison.
On Nov. 24, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal extended Pistorius' murder sentence from six years to 13 years and five months. Once a globally renowned athlete, Pistorius will not be eligible for parole until 2023.
Pistorius became a double amputee when he was an infant. Outfitted with carbon-fiber prosthetic legs, he drew international attention for his athletic prowess, garnered gold medals at the Paralympics and competed against able-bodied runners at the 2012 London Olympics.
In February 2013, Pistorius shot his girlfriend, Steenkamp, four times through a bathroom door at his home in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius said in court that he had mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. Prosecutors argued he had murdered her in a fit of rage.
In 2014, Pistorius was charged with manslaughter for Steenkamp's death. Following a state appeal, his charge was upgraded to murder in July 2016. Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa sentenced the athlete to six years in prison, even though South Africa's minimum sentence for murder was 15 years.
"I am of the view that a long-term imprisonment will not serve justice," Masipa said when she issued the ruling, according to The New York Times. "He's a fallen hero who has lost his career and is ruined financially."
Prosecutors appealed the sentence and the Supreme Court of Appeal concurred with their opinion that it was too lenient.
"The sentence of six years' imprisonment is shockingly lenient to a point where it has the effect of trivializing this serious offense," wrote Justice Willie Seriti in the court decision, according to The Associated Press.
Seriti added that Pistorius "displays a lack of remorse, and does not appreciate the gravity of his actions."
The court sentenced Pistorius to the minimum 15 years, minus time already served.
Carl Pistorius, the gold medalist's brother, took to social media to express dismay over the ruling.
"Shattered," Carl tweeted. "Heartbroken. Gutted."
Meanwhile, Barry and June Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's parents, expressed relief over the extended sentence.
"They feel there has been justice for Reeva," said the Steenkamp family attorney, Tania Koen. "She can now rest in peace. But at the same time, people must realize that people think is the end of the road for them ... The fact is, they still live with Reeva's loss every day."
Koen added that the Steenkamp family was grateful to the South African justice system, according to The Guardian.
"This is an emotional thing for them," Koen said. "They just feel that their trust in the justice system has been confirmed this morning."