Lawyers for both Oscar Pistorius and the parents of Reeva Steenkamp have reportedly been discussing an out-of-court settlement of a civil lawsuit brought up by the Steenkamp’s against Pistorius. The Steenkamp’s are seeking around $300,000 in damages due to the death of their daughter, and their lawyer admitted that recent talks have been “intense.”
A South African newspaper reported that negotiations were initiated by Pistorius’ lawyers, who the paper said were “desperately trying” to negotiate a settlement before Pistorius goes on trial in March on a charge of premeditated murder for Steenkamp’s shooting death.
According to the report, Pistorius is looking to settle the civil trial before the criminal trial in an attempt to reduce the payout to Steenkamp’s family. Pistorius stands accused of murdering Steenkamp in his home in February. The sprinter claims he shot Steenkamp after mistakenly believing her to be an intruder.
Before her death Steenkamp reportedly gave financial help to her parents, Barry and June. No one is sure if that was the reason that Pistorius killed her. She was killed by Pistorius on Feb. 14, with prosecutors indicting the world-famous athlete on a charge of premeditated murder Monday.
His trial is set for March 3-20 in the South African capital, Pretoria, where a conviction could also make him liable to a substantial civil suit by Steenkamp’s family. Pistorius denies murder and says he shot Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was a dangerous nighttime intruder in his house.
South African police believe they have a watertight murder case against the athlete and have named 107 potential witnesses to give evidence against him.
Pistorius, who had both his legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, was an incredibly popular figure on the track circuit thanks to his inspirational fight to be allowed to compete against able-bodied competitors.