South African Judge Thokozile Masipa finds athlete Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide in the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Friday.
Cleared of murder, Masipa said that the accused is found not guilty and is discharged, instead he is found guilty of culpable homicide. The sentence of the celebrity athlete will be declared by the judge later.
On February 14, 2013, Steenkamp was shot in his home by Pistorius. When the prosecution said she was killed intentionally after an argument, Pistorius said he mistook her for an intruder.
Before declaring the homicide verdict, Pistorius was found guilty of negligently handling a gun in restaurant by the judge. "He may not have intentionally pulled the trigger… that does not absolve him of the crime of negligently handling a firearm," said Masipa. However, the maximum sentence for culpable homicide is up to 15 years in prison.
On Thursday, Masipa said there was not enough evidence to support a murder conviction for Pistorius’ killing of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Judge told the Pretoria High Court, "The state clearly has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder."
The judge said that Pistorius’ negligence could lead to a conviction for culpable homicide, or a negligent killing. The sentence for such a crime is at the judge’s discretion, and it can range from a suspended sentence and a fine to years in prison.
Seemed to be emotionless during the whole morning, when the trial begun, Pistorius has broken down, weeping and at times vomiting as he heard how his girlfriend`s head "exploded" while he shot.
On Thursday, while Judge Masipa found the double amputee "Blade Runner" not guilty of deliberately killing 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp, legal experts voiced shock that Pistorius was found not guilty of murder and predicted that the case has gripped South Africans and much of the world for a year would not rest with the verdict.[category- Sports-Others] [tags-Reeva Steenkamp,Judge Thokozile Masipa, Oscar Pistorius, Murder, Culpable homicide]