South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide by a judge at his murder trial in South Africa.
Judge Thokolize Masipa said Pistorius’ actions in firing shots through a toilet door- though in “belief that there was an intruder”- more so on handling a firearm which went off in a crowded restaurant, had been “negligent”.
She said she couldn’t found the blade runner guilty of murder, as the state had failed to prove he intended to kill Reeva Steenkamp. The judge feels it cannot be said he had foreseen he would kill his girlfriend or anyone.
She finds it hard to accommodate several witnesses claims that they heard screams and gunshots between about 03:12 and 03:17, saying most had “got fact wrong”.
Pistorius had denied murdering his girlfriend after an argument on Valentine’s Day last year.
Judge Masipa said: “It cannot be said that the accused did not entertain a genuine belief that there was an intruder”.
“The accused knew there was a person behind the toilet door, he chose to use a firearm.
“I am of the view the accused acted too hastily and used too much force. It is clear his conduct is negligent.”
Reports coming from the courtroom says Reeva’s friends were crying incredulously as Masipa agrees with the disgraced athlete’s version.
He was found not guilty of another charge of firing a gun in public, through the sunroof of a car, and of a charge of illegal possession of ammunition in the home where he killed Miss Steenkamp.
Pistorius is understood to have showed less emotions as the judge continued with her final summary.
There was no much emotion in court either because everyone knew that verdict was coming, according to reporters in court.
Culpable homicide means Pistorius face a potential jail term of 15 years or custodial sentence/no prison, according to experts following the trial. There has also been suggestions of seven to ten years.
Judge Masipa will seal the paralympian’s fate on October 13. And Pistorius has been granted bail as well, as Judge says the state has not persuaded her as much to oppose the defence’s argument for an extended bail.
“I have used my discredition in favour of the accused to grant the application,” Masipa added.