Pistorius Guilty of Culpable Homicide

Sentence for negligent killing is at judge's discretion
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2014 3:49 AM CDT
Updated Sep 12, 2014 7:47 AM CDT
Pistorius Guilty of Culpable Homicide
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, this morning.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, in the death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the AP reports. South African Judge Thokozile Masipa found the athlete not guilty of murder or premeditated murder. Sentencing will begin Oct. 13, reports CNN, which says a typical sentence for culpable homicide is five to eight years. The sentence for such a crime is at the judge's discretion; technically, it could range from a suspended sentence and a fine to a maximum of 15 years in prison. The BBC's legal experts say he's likely to get seven to 10 years. Prosecutors say they'll decide whether to appeal after Pistorius receives his sentence.

He was also convicted of unlawfully firing a gun in a public place: The 2013 incident, in which his friend's gun discharged in a restaurant while Pistorius was handling it, occurred weeks before Steenkamp's death. That charge carries a sentence that could range from a fine to as many as five years in prison. He was acquitted on two other firearms charges, one of which was related to firing from a car's sunroof and the other of which was a count of illegal possession of ammunition in his home. In a marked departure from his dramatic courtroom behavior, Pistorius "showed no emotion" as the judge read the formal verdicts, the AP notes, though the BBC points out that he was "emotional" in court yesterday. (More Oscar Pistorius stories.)

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