Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide in relation to the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
“I am of the view that the accused acted too hastily and used excessive force,” Justice Masipa said as she completed her two-day long judgment.
“In the circumstances, it is clear that his conduct was negligent… On the facts of this case I am not persuaded that a reasonable person with the accused’s disabilities in the same circumstances would have fired four shots into that small toilet cubicle.”
The former Olympian was also found guilty on one count of firearms charges, in relation to a shooting at Tasha’s Restaurant.
He was acquitted of all other charges, including those relating to a now infamous incident in which Pistorius was accused of shooting through a car’s sunroof.
Culpable homicide is defined under South African law as the “unlawful negligent killing of another human being”. It is similar to the charge of manslaughter under Australian law.
The proceedings will now be adjourned and Pistorius will be sentenced in a separate hearing.
The maximum penalty for culpable homicide is 15 years. There is no minimum penalty.
He could face an additional five years jail in relation to the other offence.
Under South African law, sentencing hearings operate similarly to a full trial, with prosecutors now expected to call members of Reeva’s family to present their case for a strong sentence. The defence are expected to call psychiatric experts to argue for a reduced sentence.
Mamamia reported after day one of the sentencing…
Oscar Pistorius has been found not guilty of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
He has to wait until tonight, though, to learn his fate on other charges including the lesser charge of culpable homicide.
The verdict was handed down Thursday by Judge Thokozile Masipa after a six-month trial in the High Court of South Africa, in the city of Pretoria.
Pistorius held back tears as the judge gave her verdict.
Judge Maspia said she believes Pistorius thought Steenkamp was an intruder. The judge also said while Pistorius intended to shoot, this does not equal an intention to kill.