Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide

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Oscar Pistorius has been released on bail after being convicted of culpable homicide for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013.
The South African athlete was flanked by guards as he left court in Pretoria and was hurried into a nearby car amid chaotic scenes of screaming supporters and a media scrum
Judge Thokozile Masipa said the double amputee had acted negligently when he fired four shots into a locked toilet door in his home, killing the 29-year-old model who was behind it.
But she decided to extend his bail and he will return to Pretoria High Court for sentencing on October 13. He is expected to stay with a relative until then.
Pistorius showed little emotion as the guilty verdict – South Africa’s equivalent of manslaughter – was handed down in North Gauteng High Court. The punishment for culpable homicide ranges from a suspended sentence to a maximum jail term of 15 years.
The 27-year-old, dubbed Blade Runner due to his prosthetic limbs, has always admitted he shot Ms Steenkamp but mistook her for an intruder.
Judge Masipa criticised Pistorius’ decision to reach for his gun and shoot rather than raise the alarm or fire a warning shot. She has also accused him of being a poor witness, muddled over his defence and a liar.
She told him: “A reasonable person therefore, in the position of the accused with similar disabilities would have foreseen that the possibility that whoever was behind the door might be killed by the shots.
“They would have taken steps to avoid the consequences and the accused in this matter failed to take those consequences.”
Summing up she said: “Having regard to the totality of this evidence in this matter, the unanimous decision of this court is the following: On count one, murder, the accused is found not guilty and discharged. Instead he is found guilty of culpable homicide.”
The judge had begun the day dealing with the three firearms charges which were unrelated to last year’s Valentine’s Day shooting.
Pistorius was found guilty of discharging a firearm at a restaurant in Johannesburg on January 11, 2013.
But he was acquitted of firing a gun through a car sunroof while with his then-girlfriend Samantha Taylor and friend Darren Fresco on November 30, 2012.
He was also cleared of illegally possessing .38 ammunition. Pistorius had denied all three charges.

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