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Friday
Sep122014

Oscar Pistorius Guilty of Culpable Homicide, Judge Rules

Jemal Countess/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- A South African judge found Oscar Pistorius guilty today of culpable homicide in the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He was also found guilty of discharging a gun in a public area, but acquitted of other charges, including murder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa had Pistorius stand before she delivered her verdict.

His bail was later extended ahead of sentencing on Oct. 13.


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Culpable homicide is similar to manslaughter in the United States, and he could receive anywhere from a suspended sentence or house arrest to a 15-year sentence, with the sentence at the discretion of the judge. Mitigating factors, such as his emotional state, anxiety levels and disability could result in a lesser sentence.

Pistorius was found guilty of discharging a gun in a public area for a 2013 restaurant incident, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled. He was acquitted in a 2012 incident in which Pistorius allegedly fired a gun out of the open sunroof of a friend's car. He was also acquitted of illegal possession of ammunition.

Masipa had ruled Thursday that there was insufficient evidence to show that the athlete intentionally killed Steenkamp. Steenkamp died on Valentine’s Day 2013 when Pistorius fired four shots through a bathroom door in the middle of the night, saying he mistook his live-in girlfriend for an intruder.

Pistorius didn't foresee the possibility that he would kill the model when he fired the shots, Masipa ruled.

The trial has spanned five months, prolonged by several interruptions including a month-long break so the paralympian sprinter could be examined by mental health experts. Pistorius – known as “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic legs – served as an international inspiration after performing in the London 2012 Olympics.

 


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