Nineteen months after Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend on Valentine's Day, in what he and his defense claims was a botched self defense against what the South African track and field star athlete believed was a home invader, a verdict of not guilty was delivered on Thursday morning.
However, it is a short-lived victory if the judge's words are any indication of what she may decide Friday morning when she's finished mulling over the lesser charges against Pistorius. After handing down her decision on the more serious charges, Judge Thokozile Masipa added that “is clear that his conduct was negligent,” which legal experts believe is a sign that she may be prepared to find him guilty of culpable homocide.
Via Washington Post:
According to the prosecution, Pistorius argued with Steenkamp that night in his home in a gated community in Pretoria. Things got out of hand. She retreated to the bathroom. He fired four shots from his 9mm pistol through the door and killed her. Prosecutors portrayed him as temper-prone, self-absorbed, gun-obsessed egotist who lived life altogether too recklessly. During the trial, he sobbed constantly and vomited as the prosecutor kept describing the bloody details of what happened that night — not the stuff of sports legends.
His own lawyer made him seem even more pathetic — not an iron man, but an anxiety-ridden mess, filled with demons dating back to childhood. Barry Roux described Pistorius as an impulsive, fearful man, terrified of small noises — like a noise in the bathroom — because of an “exaggerated flight response” stemming from the “slow-burning” effect of his disability. All his life — his family had his legs amputated before his first birthday because he was born without fibulas — he was unable to run away from danger, his lawyer said during closing arguments.
Regardless of whether Pistorius does time for culpable homocide or not, his reputation as the inspirational "Blade Runner" is a thing of the past.