Judge Clears Oscar Pistorius of Murder Charges
South African Judge Thokozile Masipa has cleared Olympic and paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius of all murder charges, saying he did not foresee he could kill anyone the night he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Ruling on the murder charge on Thursday, Judge Masipa said “Clearly he did not subjectively foresee this as a possibility that he would kill the person behind the door, let alone the deceased as he thought she was in the bedroom,” Masipa told a packed court, as tears streamed down Pistorius’ face.
Although he has been cleared of the two murder charges, he could still be convicted of culpable homicide for the negligent or reckless killing of Steenkamp, who was hit by four 9mm rounds Pistorius fired through the toilet door at his luxury Pretoria home.
Culpable homicide still carries up to 15 years in jail.
Alternatively the double-amputee could be acquitted, allowing him to leave the court and potentially resume his career as one of the biggest names in world athletics.
The 27-year-old athlete shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, through a locked bathroom door on Feb. 14, 2013. He maintains that he believed the model, who was 29 at the time of the slaying, had been an intruder. Prosecutors say he killed her deliberately in a fit of anger after an argument.
Pistorius is a double amputee known as the “Blade Runner” for the blade-like prosthetics he uses while running. In 2012, he became the first amputee to compete in track in the Olympics when he ran in two events in the 2012 Summer Games in London.
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