From NBC News
PRETORIA, South Africa — The father of Reeva Steenkamp testified on Tuesday that her fatal shooting by Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius “devastated” his family and that he thinks of her “all the time.”
An emotional Barry Steenkamp spoke at the sentencing hearing for the double-amputee former track star, who was convicted of murdering the model and law graduate he was dating in his home in 2013.
Steenkamp says his daughter’s death contributed to his heart and other health problems, and that he frequently imagines that she must have been experiencing great fear and pain just before she died.
The sprinter known as “Blade Runner” looked downward as Steenkamp testified at the High Court in Pretoria.
Pistorius is currently living under house arrest after initially serving one year of a five-year prison sentence for manslaughter for shooting Steenkamp in 2013. But that manslaughter conviction was overturned last year by an appeals court, which convicted Pistorius of the more serious charge of murder.
Judge Thokozile Masipa, who initially acquitted Pistorius of murder, will decide the new sentence. The hearing is scheduled to run through Friday this week.
Pistorius’ lawyers are arguing for leniency. South Africa has a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for murder, although a judge can reduce that in some circumstances.
On Monday, a prosecutor told the court that Pistorius has shown no remorse for murdering his girlfriend and that he only “feels sorry for himself.”
However, a psychologist called by Pistorius’ lawyer Barry Roux told the sentencing hearing the athlete was on medication for depression, anxiety and insomnia.
“One would describe him as broken. In my opinion his current condition warrants hospitalization,” Professor Jonathan Scholtz said.
Scholtz also told the hearing that Pistorius had suffered financially and found asking others for assistance humiliating.
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