The judge who cleared Oscar Pistorius of murder charges yesterday found him guilty of manslaughter, or culpable homicide as they call it in South Africa, in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
In her ruling, Judge Thokozile Masipa said that Pistorius was negligent when he fired several shots into that locked toilet room, but ultimately the state had failed to prove he intended to kill.
“A reasonable person, with a similar disability, would have foreseen that the person behind the door would be killed, and the accused failed to take action to avoid this,” the judge declared.
So while Pistorius acted “negligently” when he shot his girlfriend through a toilet door, the judge believed he really thought there was an intruder inside. Cut to Ray Rice kicking himself for not coming up with that excuse first – “I totally thought my fiancée was an elevator intruder!”
Judge Masipa also granted Pistorius bail after the conviction so now he’s free to roam the countryside until his sentencing on October 13. The athlete could receive up to 15 years in prison or he could just get a small slap on the wrist, pay a fine, and avoid jail entirely – in which case we can all congratulate South Africa on their first O.J Simpson.
As for Reeva Steenkamp’s family, they were less than pleased with the verdict, telling reporters of their “disbelief” that the court had believed Pistorius’s version of events.
“This verdict is not justice for Reeva,” June Steenkamp said. “I just want the truth. He shot through the door and I can’t believe that they believe it was an accident.”
And neither can anyone else…