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Oscar Pistorius to apply for bail in South African court

Oscar Pistorius reacts during the verdict in his September 11, 2014murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa. .
Oscar Pistorius reacts during the verdict in his September 11, 2014murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa. . EPA/Kim Ludbrook /Via AP

JOHANNESBURG – Oscar Pistorius will appear in court Tuesday to apply for bail following the Olympian’s conviction for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a South African official said.

The issue of a sentencing date for the double-amputee runner might be addressed during the hearing in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, said Lusanda Ntuli, a judicial spokeswoman.

On Thursday, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal overturned a lower court’s manslaughter conviction and found the runner guilty of murder for shooting Steenkamp to death. Pistorius spent one year of a five-year sentence in jail for the lesser offence and then was put under house arrest at his uncle’s mansion in Pretoria in October.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the door of a toilet cubicle in his home early on Valentine’s Day 2013. Prosecutors said he killed her after an argument; Pistorius said he killed her by mistake, thinking there was an intruder in the house.

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The appeals court said that regardless of who was behind the door, Pistorius should have known someone could be killed if he fired. Under South African law, a person can be convicted of murder if he or she foresaw the possibility of someone dying through their actions and went ahead anyway.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, but exceptional circumstances in the case of the former track star, including time served, his disability and his status as a first-time offender, could mean a lower sentence.