Oscar Pistorius Found Guilty of Culpable Homicide, Could Face Up to 15 Years Behind Bars

Oscar Pistorius back in court
Oscar Pistorius back in court 2014 Gallo Images (PTY) LTD via Getty

Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, after being acquitted of murder charges on Thursday, Sept. 11.

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The Paralympic athlete, who fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013, appeared at Pretoria High Court in South Africa on Friday, Sept. 12, to hear Judge Thokozile Masipa declare him guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide. He stood silently with his hands in front of him as he listened to the verdict.

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Judge Masipa ruled the athlete killed his girlfriend Steenkamp by mistake, calling the evidence to suggest he murdered her "clearly circumstantial." But she felt Pistorius did not act like a "reasonable person" when he fired four shots into the toilet cubicle where Steenkamp was located, saying he acted "too hastily and used excessive force. In the circumstances, it is clear his conduct was negligent."

Pistorius was also found guilty on one firearms charge, but acquitted on two others.

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The double amputee must now wait until Monday, Oct. 13 to discover what his sentence will be. A culpable homicide charge could result in anything from a suspended sentence to 15 years behind bars. He is free on bail until that time.

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