South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been found “not guilty” of murdering long-time girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of 14 February 2013. The court will resume shortly when Judge Thokozile Masipa will deliver her verdict on the charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, and other firearms offences. Masipa accepted the defence’s timeline of events, ruling that the shooting took place at 3.12 in the morning, crucially making the screams of distress heard by neighbours around 3.17am those of a shocked Pistorius and not Steenkamp, meaning her killing was sudden and was unlikely to have been premeditated.
More from the Los Angeles Times:
Judge Thokozile Masipa halted the proceedings before delivering a ruling on a lesser charge of culpable homicide and said she would resume the proceedings on Friday. “It’s clear that his conduct was negligent,” Masipa said. But the judge said she did not find sufficient evidence to prove the prosecution’s contention that Pistorius intended to kill Reeva Steenkamp after the couple had an argument, though she did conclude that the athlete was negligent in firing his weapon four times through the door of the bathroom in his residence, in which Steenkamp had locked herself. Pistorius admitted to firing four expanding bullets into the toilet cubicle off his bathroom. But he had insisted that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, fired unintentionally and not meaning to kill anyone.