Oscar Pistorius, the infamous double-amputee and 2012 London Olympic runner, who shot and killed his girlfriend in 2013, was released from prison and placed under house arrest Monday night.
“Oscar Pistorius was placed under correctional supervision tonight,” Manelisi Wolela, a spokeswoman for South Africa’s correctional services department, said.
The Olympic runner was sentenced to five years at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in the South African capital of Pretoria, and his original release date was set for Tuesday.
Pistorius’ murder trial “generated intense international interest, and the surprising decision to release Pistorius a day early, and at night, appeared to have avoided the logistical challenges and spectacle associated with a large gathering of TV crews and other journalists hoping to catch a glimpse of Pistorius on the way out of prison,” according to the Associated Press.
Robyn Curnow, CNN reporter, said that Pistorius’ legal team thought it was best to keep his release quiet, because of the intense media interest surrounding the case and in the interest of security.
“It was prudent to do it quietly under cloak and dagger,” she said.
Under South African law, an offender sentenced to five years or less in jail can be released after serving one-sixth of the term. Pistorius has only served 10 months.
Although Pistorius was acquitted of murder last year for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, prosecutors have appealed the verdict and will seek a murder conviction in South Africa’s Supreme Court Nov. 3. If convicted he faces a minimum of 15 years in prison.
Lashanda Clark, a health care management student from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said that his early release was shocking.
“I was surprised at the short amount of time that he was sentenced, and I couldn’t believe they let him out early after he killed his girlfriend,” she said.
The 28-year-old runner will be on house arrest until Oct. 20, 2019 at his uncle’s home, according to USA Today.