Oscar Pistorious has been found not guilty of the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp. The court announced it’s decision moments ago. The judge could still find him guilty of culpable homicide, for which he would face a long jail term of up to 10 years.
“The state has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder,” the judge said. “There are just not enough facts to support such a finding.”
He shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp on valentines day last year, with the trial beginning in March of this year. His case will built around his claim that he thought she was an intruder.
The court adjourned for lunch, and decisions on further sentences are expected later today.
Court has been adjourned far the day – and the judge will resume tomorrow at 09:30
In her closing summary for today the judge said
“If the accused had awoken in the middle of the night and in darkness saw a silhouette hovering next to his bed, and had in a panic shot at that figure, only to find it was the deceased, his conduct would have been understandable and perhaps excusable, the judge says. In such a case, he would not have been expected to call security first, as he would have been faced with a real emergency.
However, in this case, Mr Pistorius had enough time to assess the situation and call for help, the judge argues. She says she is not convinced a reasonable person with the accused’s disability would have fired four shots into the cubicle.
“The accused knew that there was a person behind the toilet door. He chose to use a firearm which was a lethal weapon. He was competent in the use of firearms as he had undergone some training,”
“Did the accused fail to take the steps which he should reasonably have taken to guard against the consequence? Yes,”
“In the circumstances, it is clear that his conduct was negligent,”
We expect to find out tomorrow if Oscar Pistorious is to be found guilty of culpable homicide
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