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Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide

Pretoria, Sep 13 (): Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide or negligent killing in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a charge similar to manslaughter, in the North Gauteng High Court on Friday. The judge extended his bail and set a date of October 13 for sentencing on a charge of culpable homicide.

The South African judge Thokozile Masipa, ruling over the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, on Friday restarted her lengthy clarification of her verdicts in the killing of the girlfriend of Pistorius. The judge said that the double-amputee Paralympian athlete was not guilty of murder, as prosecutors had supposed. Before delivering the verdict, she ordered Pistorius to stand.

Masipa has found there is not sufficient evidence to convict the athlete of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. In result, she has accepted some of the defence put forth by Pistorius, following his explanation that there was a dangerous burglar behind his bathroom door.

The sentence for a culpable homicide verdict is at the discretion of the judge, and it could range from up to 15 years in prison to a suspended sentence and a fine. The sentencing was to be said at a later date.

The athlete stood unemotionally as he got the verdict, displaying little of the emotion that had been shown much of the time during the 41-day trial. The best friend of Steenkamp, Gina Myers and many of Steenkamp’s family members wept as the verdicts were read out.

According to the law of South Africa, culpable homicide with a firearm carries charge of a minimum jail sentence of five years. The maximum term is 15 years – even though the judge would have to indicate that there was an exact reason for the jail sentence to be prolonged. The star athlete could also avoid a jail term overall, with the choice that he could be put under long house arrest with conditions such as a ban on drinking alcohol.