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Pistorius 'Needs to Pay' for Killing, Says Slain Model's Family

  • VOA News

Oscar Pistorius, right, speaks with his uncle Arnold Pistorius, left, as he attends the fourth day of sentencing proceedings at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Oct. 16, 2014.

Oscar Pistorius, right, speaks with his uncle Arnold Pistorius, left, as he attends the fourth day of sentencing proceedings at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Oct. 16, 2014.

A cousin of slain model Reeva Steenkamp told a South African judge on Thursday that Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, convicted of the killing, "needs to pay for what he has done."

Witnesses for both sides have taken the stand in a days-long sentencing hearing to make the case for how the 27-year-old double-amputee will be punished following a culpable homicide conviction last month.

The judge has heard arguments for Pistorius to serve with house arrest, community service, and prison time.

The star sprinter called the shooting a tragic accident after he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder.

Doesn't accept apology

But Steenkamp's cousin Kim Martin said she did not believe his apology for the killing.

"I think we need to give a message to society that you cannot do this and get away with it," she told the judge.

On Wednesday, social worker Annette Vergeer recommended during the hearing that Pistorius be placed under house arrest rather than being sent to prison.

The state prosecutor Gerrie Nel called her suggestion "shockingly inappropriate."

Judge Thokozile Masipa could sentence Pistorius to up to 15 years in prison. The hearing is expected to last for several days.

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