Pistorius to be sentenced next Tuesday

Pretoria, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, convicted last month of culpable homicide in the killing of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, is expected to learn his sentence next Tuesday.

Judge Thokozile Masipa concluded a week-long sentencing hearing on Friday and will likely render a decision on whether Pistorius will receive jail time when the court reconvenes next Tuesday.

The prosecution and defense made closing arguments Friday.

Lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked the court for at least 10 years in prison, while defense attorney Barry Roux said his client should receive a three-year term of house arrest and community service.

Under South African law, Judge Masipa can sentence Pistorius for up to 15 years in prison for a culpable homicide charge. She can also give him a suspended sentence and a fine, or anything in between.

Judge Masipa cleared Pistorius of a murder charge stemming from the Feb. 14, 2013 killing of Steenkamp in the bathroom of his home, but found him guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide. The judge said Pistorius was negligent when he fired four shots through the door because he knew someone was in the bathroom.

Pistorius has always maintained the shooting was an accident, believing he was firing into the bathroom at an intruder. The prosecution countered that the double-amputee runner knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom and fired four shots after the two had argued during the evening.

The lengthy trial began March 3 and was broadcast throughout South Africa and other parts of the world. It was delayed for about two weeks in late April and early May, then again for nearly the entire month of June after the prosecution requested testing for Pistorius after the defense team contended he suffered from an anxiety disorder that likely caused his reaction to fire a gun instead of run away from a potential intruder on the day of the shooting.

Testimony ended in July and final arguments were delivered in early August before the judge took the next month to decide a verdict, which was read on Sept. 12.

Steenkamp, who was 29 years old, was a model and reality television star in South Africa.

Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner," made history at the London Olympics in 2012 when he became the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Games. He had both legs amputated before he was a year old after being born without fibula bones and runs on prosthetic blades.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had initially said that his prosthetics were considered technical aids and in violation of an IAAF rule. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport later overturned that decision, making him eligible to compete against able-bodied runners.

Pistorius qualified for South Africa's Olympic team in 2012 and competed in the 400-meter race, reaching the semifinals, and the 1,600-meter relay.