Oscar Pistorius: Will Paying Money To Steenkamp's Family Help Him Avoid Jail?

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According to a testimony given on Tuesday, Oscar Pistorius has been paying money to the family of Reeva Steenkamp every month.

It was also revealed that the 27-year-old fully intended to start up a trust fund once the trial is over.

The surprising information came by way of Annette Vergeer, a probation officer.

Annette was called to testify on behalf of the defense and said that the 27-year-old began to make the payments shortly after he fatally shot his 29-year-old girlfriend.

The monthly amount paid to the Steenkamp family is said to be about $530.

In addition to the claim, Vergeer suggested that Pistorius would not fair well in prison because of his physical disability and that he would be extremely vulnerable.

She was the second law official called to the stand who testified that Oscar would not fare well in prison.

Instead, the probation officer suggested that Pistorius receive a far more lenient punishment—three years of house arrest and community service.

This is a stark contrast to the sentence being pushed for by the prosecution, which intends for him to get a 15-year-sentence. This punishment would represent the maximum time in jail possible under a culpable homicide (manslaughter) conviction.

Despite Pistorius's attempt to make amends to the family of his deceased girlfriend, his actions were met with some resistance.

Vergeer revealed on the stand that Pistorius had sold his car for $34,000, with the intent to use the cash to pay restitution to Reeva's parents.

However, June and Barry Steenkamp firmly rejected the cash payment.

Nel said it was because Reeva's mother did not want to take what she felt was "blood money".

Steenkamp family lawyer Dup de Bruyn stated that the family is in the position to pay Oscar back the $9,500 he gave them. At present the money is used to pay monthly bills and expenses.

The parents had wanted to announce the payments publicly, but Pistorius requested that they remain confidential.

And so they were...until now.

The payments are part of a defense strategy to demonstrate what a caring individual Oscar is, and why he doesn't belong in jail. It is a tactic that prosecutor Gerrie Nel has already vocally condemned.

Oscar Pistorius was previously convicted of culpable homicide in the fatal Valentines' Day shooting of then girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to hear arguments during a week long sentencing phase before making a final decision about Oscar Pistorius's fate.