Oscar Pistorius' battle over sentence drags on as parole board meets again

CNN Exclusive: Pistorius in prison
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Story highlights

  • Pistorius shot his girlfriend to death on Valentine's Day 2013
  • He has said he mistook her for an intruder
  • A judge sentenced him to five years in prison last year
  • Board members gathered Friday to consider whether to place him under house arrest

(CNN)A South African parole board is meeting to decide whether to keep Oscar Pistorius in prison -- where he's been since he was convicted last year in his girlfriend's fatal shooting.

Board members gathered Friday to consider whether to place him under house arrest, marking the latest incident on the lengthy court battle.
    Corrections officials declined to speculate on the outcome of the meeting, but said the decision will be communicated accordingly.
    A judge sentenced Pistorius to five years in prison in October last year for culpable homicide in the killing of Reeva Steenkamp.
    In South Africa, culpable homicide means a person killed someone unintentionally but unlawfully.
    Pistorius shot her on Valentine's Day 2013, and has said he mistook her for an intruder.

    Lengthy battle

    During sentencing last year, his defense team believed he would be eligible to transfer to house arrest on August 21-- 10 months after he was sentenced.
    The nation's correctional services act allows convicted criminals who have served at least one-sixth of their sentence to serve the remainder under house arrest.
    In August, the justice ministry made a last-minute intervention, blocking his release and asking a parole review board to look at his case.
    The parole review board Monday referred the case back to the broader correctional supervision and parole board for reconsideration.
    "The decision ... is to refer the (matter) back to the parole board because they believe the decision (to possibly let him out of jail) was made prematurely, Pistorius' lawyer Brian Webber said.
    The parole review board also ordered Pistorius "be subjected to psychotherapy in order to address criminogenic factors of the crime he committed," the corrections department said in a statement.

    'Blade Runner'

    Pistorius was one of South Africa's most famous athletes. He was known as the "Blade Runner" because he ran on special carbon-fiber prosthetics after having had both legs amputated below the knee as a toddler. Despite that, he excelled in sports, representing his country in Paralympic Games and the 2012 London Olympics.
    Steenkamp was found shot to death in Pistorius' home, and he acknowledged firing the fatal shots through his bathroom door. He said he mistook his girlfriend, who was a model and law school graduate, for an intruder.
    Last year, a judge found him "negligent" in Steenkamp's death. But the judge said he did not commit murder nor did he intend to kill her.
    Prosecutors are appealing the verdict, believing Pistorius, who is now 28, should be convicted of murder.
    The state's appeal is set to take place next month.