Timeline in Oscar Pistorius case: From Olympic fame to jail to release

Oscar Pistorius pictured ahead of his sentencing hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Oct 16, 2014.
Oscar Pistorius pictured ahead of his sentencing hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Oct 16, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

PRETORIA (AFP) - Oscar Pistorius, the South African double amputee sprinter who shot his girlfriend dead , was freed on parole on Monday (Oct 19), one year into a five-year sentence.

Here is a snapshot of the events that began on a fateful Valentine's Day more than two years ago:


Feb 14: South African police arrest Pistorius, a Paralympic and Olympic sprinter nicknamed the "Blade Runner", for the killing of model Reeva Steenkamp, 29, shot four times with one of his guns at his Pretoria house.

Feb 15: Pistorius bursts into tears as he is charged, denying murder "in the strongest terms".


Feb 19: He claims in an affidavit that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder and feared that someone had sneaked into his home. He fired through a locked bathroom door in what prosecutors term a "premeditated" murder.

Feb 20: Police searching Pistorius's home find testosterone and needles in a dresser in his bedroom. Testosterone is on the list of substances banned by the International Olympic Committee. Pistorius's lawyers poke holes in the prosecution's murder case, challenging flawed police work.

Feb 22: Pistorius is granted bail.

March 11: Pistorius is in deep mourning, but is "certainly not suicidal," his family says.


Feb 14: As he marks one year since the shooting, Pistorius says he is consumed with "sorrow" in a message on the internet.

Feb 25: A judge rules that most of his trial can be broadcast live, but not his testimony.

March 3: The trial opens in Pretoria, before an army of journalists from around the world, with the testimony of a neighbour who tells the court she heard "terrible screams" from a woman and shots.

March 13: Pistorius vomits when a picture of the dead model's body is flashed on the court's television screens.

April 7-15: Pistorius takes the witness stand and begins with a tearful apology to Steenkamp's family. This is followed by five days of often intense cross-examination, marked by several bouts of tears and breaks in the session. He steadfastly denies any intention to kill Steenkamp.

June 30: After a six-week break, a panel of three psychiatrists and a psychologist conclude that Pistorius was not suffering from mental illness.

Sept 12: Pistorius is found guilty of culpable homicide or manslaughter, but is cleared of murder.

Oct 1: Judge Thokozile Masipa sentences Pistorius to a maximum of five years in jail. He is immediately taken to Pretoria prison.

Nov 4: Prosecutors describe the sentence as "shockingly light and inappropriate" in appeal papers.

Dec 10: The judge grants prosecutors leave to appeal against the conviction for culpable homicide rather than murder.


June 8: Prison authorities say Pistorius is scheduled to be freed under house arrest on Aug 21.

Aug 17: Prosecutors file an appeal calling for Pistorius to be convicted of murder.

Aug 19: The justice ministry puts the decision to free Pistorius on hold saying it had "no legal basis" and had been suspended pending a parole board review.

Sept 27: Pistorius' defence team submits its argument fighting a state bid to have Pistorius found guilty of murder.

Oct 5: Pistorius will have to undergo psychotherapy, the parole review board says, a day after delaying a decision on his release from prison.

Oct 19: Pistorius released on house arrest one day ahead of the publicised date, in an apparent bid to avoid media attention.