Oscar Pistorius was cleared of murder charges in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, but may still be found guilty of homicide, South Africa’s equivalent of the United States’ manslaughter charges.
Judge Thokozile Masipa said the prosecution was not able to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that Pistorius had intentions to kill Steenkamp because there are “just not enough facts to support such a finding”,according to The Telegraph.
Masipa then absolved the 27-year old athlete, saving him from a possible life sentence, after shooting Steenkamp inside a bathroom in his Pretoria home on Valentines Day in 2012. He claimed that he thought she was an intruder.
However, the judge criticized Pistorius’ actions for using excessive force. She said there were “other means available to [Pistorius] to deal with threats to life,” such as calling the security or running to the balcony to call for help, The Daily Mail reported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”–Judge Thokozile Masipa “]
I am of the view that the accused acted too hastily and used excessive force. It is clear that his conduct was negligent,
The judge also noted that some witnesses failed to separate their own testimonies in the court from the ones they issue in the media, acknowledging the way how the trial was televised.
Pistorius, who was very emotional since the trial started, broke down into tears when the verdict was read. He did not make any comments to the press as he went out of the trial hall.
The judge is set to issue the verdict on Pistorius’ homicide cases tomorrow, where can face up to 15 years of imprisonment.