Criminal Justice

Oscar Pistorius is found guilty of culpable homicide

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Oscar Pistorius. Featureflash

A judge in South Africa has found track star Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa announced her verdict on Friday and set the sentencing hearing to begin on Oct. 13, report the New York Times, CNN and the Independent. The judge has wide discretion in sentencing on the charge, which is the equivalent of manslaughter, though the sentence could be as high as 15 years in prison.

Masipa said Pistorius acted negligently when he fired four shots at a closed bathroom door on Valentine’s Day 2013, killing Steenkamp, a law school graduate. Pistorius has claimed he thought an intruder was inside. On Thursday, Masipa said Pistorius wasn’t guilty of premeditated murder, saying an intent to shoot doesn’t necessarily mean an intent to kill.

Masipa noted that after the shooting, Pistorius had promptly called for help and had tried to revive Steenkamp.

On Friday, Masipa also acquitted Pistorius on two firearms charges and convicted him of a third for firing a gun in a restaurant. The judge allowed Pistorius to remain free on bail until sentencing.

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