‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius not guilty of murder relating to girlfriend’s shooting death

Oscar Pistorius Not Guilty of Murder

“Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, who rose to fame at the 2012 London Olympics just months before admittedly shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death, has been found not guilty of murder by a South African judge.

After a case compared by many to that of O.J. Simpson, Judge Thokozile Masipa told the court she believed Oscar “acted too hastily and used excessive force” when firing upon a closed bathroom door in his apartment, killing Reeva in February 2013.

“All the accused had to do was to pick up his cellphone and call security or the police,” Judge Masipa said, according to The New York Times.

Despite the condemnation of his actions, Judge Masipa ruled Oscar was not guilty of premeditated murder — the charge prosecutors were gunning for — or of murder.

“The state clearly has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder,” said the judge, who was assisted in reaching her decision by two aides. “There are not enough facts.”

When court resumes on Friday, she will announce her final ruling on whether he is guilty of the lesser charges of culpable homicide, which is roughly equivalent to involuntary manslaughter.

Even though that serious charge is still pending, the judge’s ruling today was a victory for Oscar and his legal team as the maximum sentence for culpable homicide is significantly less harsh than that for premeditated murder. There also isn’t a minimum sentence for culpable homicide, meaning Oscar could potentially avoid prison time even if he is convicted.

Oscar Pistorious 2012 London Olympics

Both of Oscar’s legs were amputated below the knee before his first birthday. In 2012, he competed for the South American track teams in both the Olympics and Paralympics.

He was not wearing his prosthetic legs at the time of Reeva’s death in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013. The defense argued he felt extremely vulnerable without use of his legs. They said he was defending himself against a believed intruder when he shot at the bedroom’s bathroom door multiple times; in actuality, the person behind the door was Reeva, who was staying the night.

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