Former Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’ prison sentence was more than doubled to 13 years and five months on Friday in Somerset West, South Africa.
Friday’s move marked a surprisingly dramatic intervention by South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeals in Pistorius’ future following the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
South African Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti on Friday said a panel of judges upheld an appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius’ initial six-year sentence for the killing.
Prosecutors had previously called the punishment much too lenient, and South Africa’s Supreme Court agreed in Friday’s move.
“The sentence of six years’ imprisonment is shockingly lenient to a point where it has the effect of trivializing this serious offense,” it said in a written statement.
“[Pistorius] displays a lack of remorse, and does not appreciate the gravity of his actions,” the court added.
Seriti said that Pistorius should been sentenced to prescribed minimum of 15 years for murder as he delivered the verdict of the five judges on South Africa’s Supreme Court.
There is no death penalty in South Africa, and the new sentence factors in the year and seven months Pistorius served in prison and under house arrest after his manslaughter conviction.
Pistorius must now serve at least half of the sentence – nearly seven years – before he can be considered for parole as soon as he becomes eligible in 2023.
The double-amputee sprint runner killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 after shooting her four times with his 9 mm pistol.
Pistorius claimed he mistook the 29-year-old model for an intruder and he was originally convicted of manslaughter the following year.
South Africa’s Supreme Court overturned that conviction in 2015, however, and replaced it with a murder conviction instead.
Pistorius was then sentenced to six years in prison by trial judge Thokozile Masipa, a ruling that was rejected in Friday’s maneuveur.
The athlete’s lawyers can still appeal the new sentence to South Africa’s Constitutional Court, which is the highest part of its judicial system.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.