STELLENBOSCH, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius will finally learn his fate Tuesday when a judge is expected to announce the Olympic runner's sentence for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius could be sentenced to years in prison, or he could be given a suspended sentence and a fine and receive no jail time for shooting Steenkamp multiple times through a toilet cubicle door in his home.
More than seven months after Pistorius' trial started, Judge Thokozile Masipa will announce what punishment she has decided on after finding him guilty of culpable homicide, which is comparable to manslaughter, but acquitting him of murder.
Prosecutors have demanded at least 10 years in prison for the double-amputee athlete. His defense lawyers have suggested that three years of correctional supervision, with periods of house arrest and community service, would be appropriate.
Pistorius testified during his murder trial that he mistook Steenkamp for a dangerous nighttime intruder about to come out of the cubicle and attack him when he shot four times through the door with his 9 mm pistol. Judge Masipa last month ruled that Pistorius did not intend to kill Steenkamp, but he acted negligently and with excessive force in the Valentine's Day 2013 killing.
He was also convicted of unlawfully firing a gun in a restaurant weeks before Steenkamp's death. That normally carries a fine for a first offense, but has a maximum of five years in prison.
Masipa has a wide range of options available to her at the climax of the trial because there is no minimum sentence for culpable homicide.
Pistorius, 27, could serve no jail time, and possibly consider returning to the career that made him one of the world's most recognizable runners on his carbon-fiber running blades, and the first amputee to compete on the track at the Olympics in 2012. He could be placed under house arrest, or he could be sent to prison for up to 15 years, almost certainly ending his running days.
Pistorius' brother and sister, Carl and Aimee, gave interviews to a South African television station on the eve of the sentencing, describing what they said was a difficult and emotional time in the more than a year-and-a-half since their brother killed Steenkamp.
"It has been a long journey to this point," Aimee Pistorius told eNCA. "A very taxing one. It is difficult to support someone through something like this — all the guilt and ridicule and obviously the exposure that has come with it."
Carl Pistorius said: "Tomorrow will be very difficult. This is a weight we all have to carry."
During his sentencing hearing last week, Pistorius' chief defense lawyer called social workers and a psychologist who testified that the athlete had suffered significantly already, both emotionally and financially.
"He's not only broke, but he's broken," chief defense lawyer Barry Roux said of Pistorius. "There is nothing left of this man."
Pistorius' defense team also argued that South African prisons cannot cater for his disability and he would be vulnerable. Roux even cited an alleged threat against Pistorius by a reputed prison gang leader.
Prosecutors insist Pistorius must go to prison because of what they called the "horrific" nature of Steenkamp's death. The 29-year-old model was hit in the head, arm and hip with hollow-point bullets fired by Pistorius.
Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel said that the defense's suggestion of house arrest and 16 hours of community service a month was a "shockingly inappropriate" sentence.
Recent sentences for culpable homicide in South Africa have been cited by analysts of Pistorius' case.
A singer known as Jub Jub had his murder conviction overturned and replaced with a culpable homicide conviction after a 2010 drag race, when he and another man ploughed their cars into a group of schoolchildren on a road, killing four and seriously injuring two. The singer was sentenced to eight years in prison for culpable homicide.
In 2011, a South African rugby player convicted of culpable homicide for the beating death of a policeman on a Pretoria road was given a five-year suspended prison sentence. He served no jail time and paid the victim's family $85,000 in compensation.
On Monday, correctional services authorities denied media reports by a radio network that they were already preparing a cell for Pistorius in a high-security section of Pretoria Central Prison ahead of the announcement of his sentence.
BOSTON (AP) — At least 1,000 people will be summoned and asked to fill out questionnaires for the jury in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a federal judge said Monday.
Tsarnaev, 21, is charged with carrying out the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He has pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Prosecutors say Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, planted two bombs near the marathon finish line. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police several days later.
During a status conference in U.S. District Court on Monday, Judge George O'Toole Jr. said he expects to whittle down the pool of 1,000 potential jurors to about 100 who will be questioned individually. The jury of 12 jurors and 6 alternates would then be chosen from that group.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin Jan. 5. O'Toole said it could be delayed by one day if there are juries for other trials being picked on that date.
Tsarnaev, who is being held in a federal prison while awaiting trial, did not attend Monday's status conference.
Seven protesters stood outside the courthouse holding placards challenging the case against him. One of them, Karin Friedman, of Boston, called the evidence against Tsarnaev "flimsy."
A woman who identified herself as the mother-in-law of a Florida man who was shot by the FBI while being questioned about Tamerlan Tsarnaev said she drove two days from her home in Georgia to stand outside the courthouse. Elena Teyer held a placard with photos of son-in-law Ibragim Todashev.
"I am dead because I knew Tsarnaevs. I knew the truth," the sign read in part.
Todashev was killed in May 2013, about a month after the bombings, while he was being questioned about a triple slaying in Waltham in 2011. Federal authorities have said that Todashev implicated Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the triple slaying.
Authorities cleared the agent, saying Todashev had charged at a Massachusetts state trooper.
GARY, Ind. (AP) — The bodies of seven women were found in northwestern Indiana over the weekend after a man's confession to one killing led police to the grisly discovery of the other bodies, including three in one abandoned house, authorities said Monday.
The discoveries began after a 43-year-old man allegedly confessed to killing a woman whose body was found Friday in a Motel 6 in Hammond, Indiana. He then told investigators where more bodies could be found in abandoned homes in the nearby city of Gary, a deteriorating former steel town about 30 miles southeast of Chicago, police said.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said Monday that the suspect is a sex offender from Austin, Texas.
Freeman-Wilson said authorities aren't certain how long the man has been in northwestern Indiana, although he does have a conviction for illegally entering a home in the area. The mayor says she doesn't know whether more bodies might be found.
"We really don't know. When you're dealing with someone like this it's just hard to tell," she said.
Hammond police Lt. Rich Hoyda said Sunday the man's name wasn't being released because he had not yet been formally charged. He would not say when charges will be filed. He was being held in the Hammond City Jail.
The bodies were found after Gary police followed up on information the man provided during questioning, Hammond police Lt. Rich Hoyda said Sunday. Hoyda wouldn't comment on how the man knew the women, a possible motive or whether the man confessed to killing any of the other women.
The Lake County coroner's office identified the victim found about 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Motel 6 as 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy, and said she was strangled.
A second body was found on Saturday night in an abandoned home in Gary. The coroner said family members identified her as 35-year-old Anith Jones of Merrillville, Indiana, who had been missing since Oct. 8.
Five other bodies were found on Sunday in various homes around Gary — including two more in the same home where the body of Jones was found on Saturday, the coroner's office said Monday. Autopsies are pending on the three women found in one house. The causes of death were not specified for all the women found in Gary.
The gruesome discoveries began after a friend reported Hardy missing.
"A friend of the deceased called us, and she was concerned when she didn't respond to her calling," Hoyda said. "We were sent there and found that person dead."
Police investigating her death obtained a search warrant for a home and vehicle in Gary. Police conducted the search Saturday afternoon and took the man into custody. Hoyda said the man confessed during questioning and then told investigators "where several other female victims of possible homicide were located."
Gary was a once-thriving steel town of 178,000, where thousands worked in the mills. But it has been struggling for decades, and its population has shrunk to just over 78,000 and its poverty rate hovers around 40 percent. Thousands of homes are abandoned, many with weeds choking broken sidewalks — often on the same streets where other homes are tidy and well-kept.
Next to City Hall, a pile of rubble marks the spot where a 12-story hotel that had been abandoned for decades recently was demolished.
On Monday, people in Gary tried to make sense of the tragedy.
"That's devastating. That's sick," said Jay Jackson, 25, a health care worker visiting a woman a few houses from where one of the bodies was found. "All we can do is pray for the city and hope for recovery."
Associated Press writers Tom Davies in Indianapolis and Tammy Webber in Chicago contributed to this report.
KEENE, N.H. (AP) — The governor urged the state's colleges and universities to punish students involved in violent parties near Keene's annual pumpkin festival that led to destruction, dozens of arrests and multiple injuries over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Keene officials scheduled a news conference for 4 p.m. Monday to discuss the violence, which prompted police trying control the crowds to don riot gear and use tear gas.
The parties around Keene State University coincided with the Keene Pumpkin Festival, at which the community tries to set a world record of the largest number of carved and lighted jack-o-lanterns in one place.
Gov. Maggie Hassan called on the state's colleges and universities to "take swift action to hold students involved accountable."
College students cleaned up the area Sunday.
Sophomore Mallory Pearce, vice president of the student body, said she saw a car flipped over in a parking lot, another car being destroyed and people being pepper-sprayed.
"It got way out of hand. Everyone I talked to said, 'I feel unsafe, I'm going home.' They didn't want to be part of the riot, and they couldn't do anything to solve it," she said. "I honestly did not feel safe."
While Pearce was disappointed in the violence, she said her faith was restored when about 200 volunteers showed up Sunday morning to clean up.
"We all recognize that we made a mistake, and we're going to do better next year," she said. "We're not going to let this happen again."
A police department log shows officers responded to 235 calls between 2:30 a.m. Friday and 3:30 a.m. Sunday and made at least 49 arrests. Not all were part of the disturbances, but at least 14 on Saturday and early Sunday appeared related to the unruly behavior. Most involved disorderly conduct or alcohol-related offenses.
A crowd overturned a car, street signs were torn down and fires burned in the streets. Police also investigated reports of people throwing glass bottles and fireworks, jumping off a roof and banging on cars.
One group of young people threatened to beat up an elderly man, and another resident heard someone "threatening to kill officers," according to the police log. About 20 injured people were taken to hospitals, Keene Fire Chief Mark Howard told New England Cable News.
Student body president Bobby Graham said he was disgusted by the destruction he saw and believes most of the perpetrators were not Keene State students.
"We are devoted to our community and very much engaged with our community," he said.
Eammon Flynn, who was among about 30 students visiting for the weekend from Castleton College in Vermont, said he didn't participate in any destruction but "went out and joined the mayhem."
"The parties ended up being boring, and the riot ended up being wild," he said. "It was fun to be around."
College President Anne Huot said in an emailed statement that the festival has been promoted by others "as a destination for destructive and raucous behavior" and the college had tried working with the city and campus to prevent unruly conduct.
Officials are reviewing photos, videos, media coverage and social media postings to identify those responsible, Huot said, and the most serious offenders could be expelled.
Pennsylvania state police say blood reportedly found at two homes in the search area for a suspected police killer are not linked to fugitive Eric Frein.
The 31-year-old Frein has eluded capture for more than a month despite an intense manhunt in the Pocono Mountains.
Police say DNA tests rule out any link to Frein in blood droplets found on a covered porch in the area. And they say the material found on a back door at a second home nearby proved not to be human blood.
Frein is charged with opening fire outside the Blooming Grove state police barracks on Sept. 12, killing one trooper and seriously wounding a second.
Authorities have shifted their primary search after a suspected sighting Friday night near Pocono Mountain East High School in Swiftwater.