Court Rejects Pistorius Appeal of Murder Conviction

He faces up to 15 years at sentencing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 3, 2016 11:10 AM CST
Court Rejects Pistorius Appeal of Murder Conviction
Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, in December.   (AP Photo/Herman Verwey, Pool)

South Africa's highest court has dismissed Oscar Pistorius' appeal of his murder conviction. The ruling by the Constitutional Court on Thursday clears the way for a judge to sentence the former track star for murder at a hearing scheduled for April 18. "We'll proceed to the sentencing," says a defense lawyer. Pistorius, who killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home in 2013, had appealed to the Constitutional Court, saying another court erred when it overturned a manslaughter conviction and declared the Olympic athlete guilty of murder. The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, though a judge can reduce that sentence for what the law describes as exceptional circumstances. The 29-year-old is currently under house arrest, notes Reuters. (More Oscar Pistorius stories.)

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