The Verdict Is In—Sort Of: Oscar Pistorius Not Guilty Of Premeditated Murder

September 11, 2014  |  

Today, South African Judge Thokozile Masipa reached a verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial. According to the New York Daily News, Judge Masipa found Pistorius to be “negligent” but not guilty of premeditated murder because he did not know that firing a shot through a closed bathroom door “would kill the person behind the door.”

“The question is, ‘Did the accused forsee the possibility of the death and proceed reckless?’” Masipa read Thursday. “In the circumstances of this case, the answer would be no.”

“How could the accused see the shot he fired would kill the deceased?” she went on to question. “He could not forsee the possibility that he would kill the person behind the door, let alone the deceased.”

Because of Masipa’s decision to drop the premeditated murder charge, Pistorius no longer faces the mandatory life sentence that comes with the charge, but the Olympic runner may not be off the hook just yet. Judge Masipa did not finish reading the entire verdict today. Pistorius could still be charged with culpable homicide, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and no minimum sentence.

The reading is set to resume tomorrow, but those close to Pistorius’ girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who he is on trial for killing, are distraught over the news. Steenkamp’s friend Gina Myers cried “uncontrollably” during the reading of the verdict.

We’ll continue to keep you posted as this story develops.

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