Friday, September 12, 2014

ICYMI World News: Oscar Pistorius found guilty of culpable homicide

After 41 days of testimony during an emotional trial, a verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial was reached on Thursday. Yahoo Sports reported that the Olympic runner was found guilty of culpable homicide, a ruling that comes with no minimum jail sentence.

Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down her decision on Friday, one day after she revealed that she did not find Pistorius guilty of premeditated murder because prosecution could not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the judge determined that the death of his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year was a tragic accident, that while Pistorius "acted hastily and used excessive force," he did not show intent to kill her, Yahoo Sports reported.

Pistorius, 27, also faced three counts of gun charges -- two for discharging a gun in public and one for illegal possession of ammunition. Masipa found him guilty on one charge, negligently handling a firearm in a restaurant. By South African law, culpable homicide carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. The gun charge carries no minimum sentence, so Pistorius won't receive jail time.

As court adjourned, Pistorius sat silent with his head bowed, while members of Steenkamp's family expressed disappointment to the media. The sentencing will begin October 13 and Pistorius's defense team will present their arguments, Yahoo Sports reported, and the state can present witnesses to argue for a maximum sentence, or appeal the decision for a murder conviction.

While Pistorius can spend a lengthy time behind bars, he has maintained that it was a tragic accident, that he shot Steenkamp in a moment of panic, believing he was protecting them from an intruder. He was very emotional during the entire trial which lasted six months, containing more than 4,000 pages of evidence and dozens of witnesses.

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