Judge Thokozile Masipa Rules Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius Not Guilty of Premeditated Murder in the Death of Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp … Still Faces “Culpable Homicide”(Update: Pistorius Found Guilty of Culpable Homicide)
Oscar Pistorius Found Not Guilty of Murder in Death of Reeva Steenkamp … Say hello to South Africa’s O.J. Simpson.
This morning Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled the Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius, was not guilty of premeditated murder in the shooting death of his girl friend Reeva Steenkamp. The shooting took place on Valentine’s Day 2013. The judge ruled that the prosecution’s evidence to support a charge of premeditated murder was “purely circumstantial.” and “the state clearly has not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder.” The judge went on to say that “there are not enough facts.” However, Pistorius is hardly out of trouble as he only has been found “not guilty” of the most serious murder charge. He still faces the lesser charges of “culpable homicide” in the shooting death of his girlfriend.
The judge presiding over the trial of Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic athlete, cleared him of the two most serious murder charges against him on Thursday, almost certainly sparing him a long prison sentence. But then, after appearing to be on the verge of declaring Mr. Pistorius guilty of a lesser crime, culpable homicide, in the shooting death of his girlfriend, the judge abruptly suspended court proceedings for the rest of the day.
“We’ll have to stop here and resume tomorrow morning,” the judge, Thokozile Matilda Masipa, said less than half an hour after the session had resumed after a lunch break. She did not explain the adjournment.
Judge Masipa then turned to the lesser charge of culpable homicide, which is comparable to involuntary manslaughter, and said Mr. Pistorius had failed three tests to be exonerated of the charge. One considers what a “reasonable” person would have done under the same circumstances.
Reuters – Africa: Pistorius cleared of murder, culpable homicide verdict to come.
“I am of the view that the accused acted too hastily and used excessive force. It is clear that his conduct was negligent,” she told the packed courtroom before adjourning until Friday. She also said he had not acted “reasonably”.
Earlier, Masipa ruled that prosecutors, led by the combative Gerrie Nel, had failed to prove the 27-year-old intended to kill Steenkamp after an argument.
The defence said Pistorius shot Steenkamp as a result of a tragic accident after mistaking her for an intruder hiding behind a locked toilet door.
As Masipa delivered her not-guilty decision on the primary charge of premeditated murder, Pistorius, who would have faced at least 25 years behind bars if convicted, sat sobbing in the dock, tears streaming down his cheeks.
Culpable homicide – the South African equivalent of Britain’s manslaughter – carries up to 15 years in prison but has no minimum sentence.
Although Masipa described Pistorius as a “very poor” and “evasive” witness, she said it did not mean he was necessarily guilty in a case heavily reliant on circumstantial evidence
ABC News: Judge Masipa called Pistorius a “very poor witness” during the murder trial and found he was at times vague and avoided answering some of the prosecution’s questions. Despite that, she says this does not necessarily indicate his guilt. From the wording of the judge’s decision in the not guilty verdict of murder and premeditated murder,m it seems almost a certainty that she will find him guilty of culpable homicide.
A verdict on the charge of culpable homicide, similar to manslaughter in the United States, still remains. Pistorius also faces two counts of discharging a gun in a public area, as well as illegal possession of ammunition.
If he is found guilty of murder without premeditation, or culpable homicide, he could receive a 15-year sentence as a first time offender. Mitigating factors, such as his emotional state, anxiety levels and disability could result in a lesser sentence.
The Guardian: LIVE updated coverage of the trial of Oscar Pistorius.
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide on Friday, escaping the more serious charge of murder for the killing of his girlfriend, and will now battle to avoid going to prison.
The 27-year-old double amputee, who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, stood impassively in the dock, his hands folded in front of him, as Judge Thokozila Masipa delivered her verdict.
Pistorius was also convicted of firing a pistol under the table of a packed Johannesburg restaurant but cleared of two other firearms charges – illegal possession of ammunition and firing a pistol out of the sun-roof of a car.
The Murder Trial of South African Amputee Track Star Oscar Pistorius (The Blade Runner) Accused of Killing Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp Begins Today … Neighbor Testifies, ‘Bloodcurdling Screams’ the Night of the Killing (LIVE FEED)
The long awaited murder trail of Oscar Pistorius begins today in South Africa …
This morning, South African amputee track star Oscar Pistorius, otherwise known as the “Blade Runner” pleaded not guilty in court to the murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Oscar Pistorius has been charged with the Valentine’s Day 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Follow the murder trial HERE at the UK Telegraph.
CNN: Pistorius neighbor testimony - ‘Bloodcurdling screams’ the night of the killing.
Talk of “bloodcurdling screams” and shots in the night took center stage Monday in the first day of testimony in the murder trial of South African amputee track star Oscar Pistorius, who killed his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, last year.
“Something terrible was happening at that house,” Michelle Burger testified.
“Her shouts, her screams were petrifying,” she said later.
Burger was the only witness Monday in a trial that is expected to last a few weeks. Testimony was scheduled to resume Tuesday morning.
Under questioning by prosecutors, Burger told the court that she heard a woman’s screams and a man yelling for help.
“Just after 3, I woke up from a woman’s terrible screams,” she said. “Then I also heard a man screaming for help. Three times he yelled for help.”
UPDATE I: LIVE FEED OF TRIAL BELOW:
Sky News Publishes Leaked Images of the Bloody Bathroom Where Oscar Pistorius Shot his Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
(Warning, pics in link very graphic)
Sky News releases images of the bloody bathroom inside the home of paralympian Oscar Pistorius, The Blade Runner, where he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The photos are believed to have been taken with a cellphone by a crime scene officer. Warning, the images are gruesome blood splatter in the bathroom where Pistorius claims he believed he was shooting an intruder on the other side of a closed door. Pistorius shot several times through the bathroom door. He claims it was out of self defense and thought an intruder was in his bathroom. That so-called intruder turned out to be his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who was staying with him that night. South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius will be in court next week battling charges that he murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Sky News has obtained pictures inside the house of paralympian Oscar Pistorius – including images of the bloody bathroom where he shot his lover, Reeva Steenkamp.
The pictures have emerged as allegations that police officers involved in the investigation are being questioned following the disappearance of one of the runner’s watches from his house.
This is the first time the public has seen the actual room where the athlete’s model girlfriend was killed.
The images show a panel missing from the toilet door – and two police markers below the handle which indicate bullet holes – low down.
How does one shoot bullets into a closed bathroom door, concerned that there was an intruder in the house, and not having first checked where is girlfriend was?
Carl Pistorius, the Brother of Oscar Pistorius Also Facing Homicide Charges in Death of a Female Motorcyclist in 2008 Traffic Accident
South African murder charges, keeping it all in the Pistorius family … Carl Pistorius is facing Homicide charges as well?
As if the bizarre nature of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial could not get any more bizarre? First we are presented with the premeditated murder charges against one of South Africa’s most beloved and recognizable individuals. Oscar “the Blade Runner” Pistorius has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius is claiming that it was an accident and thought he was firing at an intruder who was entering his home. Of course it seems rather unbelievable that one would know that their girlfriend was in their home, hears a noise, then fires four gun shots into a locked bathroom door without first asking who’s there or first making sure your girlfriend who is supposed to be in the bed is safe. Oh well, that’s for a judge to decide after listening to the evidence. The trial then got more bizarre when it was learned that the lead investigator in the murder case is also facing murder charges of his own.
Now we learn that Oscar Pistorius’ brother Carl is facing homicide charges of his own. Carl Pistorius is facing homicide charges in the death of a female motorcyclist stemming from a 2008 traffic accident. The motorcyclist died in a hospital a couple of days after the accident. Culpable homicide refers to “unlawful negligent killing.” in South Africa. Prosecutors claim that Carl Pistorius was driving recklessly in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa, when he crashed with the motorcyclist in the daytime. Carl Pistorius’ defense attorney is disputing the charges and claims that the female motorist rode into his client. Carl Pistorius is supposed to be in court in March 2013.
Carl Pistorius is charged with culpable homicide over the death of a woman motorcyclist in a traffic accident in 2008, his lawyer said.
The case has no relation to the charges against Oscar Pistorius over the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp.
The Paralympic star – who was released on bail on Friday – denies murder.
The charge against Carl Pistorius over an accident involving his car in which a woman on a motorcycle died has only just emerged.
It was confirmed to the BBC by Pistorius family lawyer Kenny Oldwage, who said Carl appeared in court the day before his brother’s judgement in the bail hearing last week.
He is due to appear again in March.
Bizarre: Lead Police Investigator in Oscar Pistorius Murder Case of Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is Facing Attempted Murder Charges of his Own
The murder case of Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius just got a little more bizarre. Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. However, we now have learned that the lead investigator, Hilton Botha, several other police officers are facing attempted murder charges of their own. The officers were allegedly drunk at the time, were arrested on seven counts of attempted murder in 2009. The charges against the officers had been provisionally withdrawn, but the Director of Public Prosecution reinstated them Wednesday and plans to move ahead on the charges later this year. Hmm, the timing of this is rather curious indeed. Four years after the fact and following the high profile murder case of Pistorius which Botha was the lead investigator, this comes out? Interesting indeed.
As Oscar Pistorius returned to court Thursday to seek bail, the sensational case took a new turn when police said the lead investigator is facing seven counts of attempted murder stemming from an incident four years ago.
That investigator, Hilton Botha, and several other police officers apparently fired at a minibus they were chasing in late 2009, spokesman Neville Malila told CNN affiliate eNCA.
The officers were allegedly drunk at the time, the spokesman said.
They were arrested on seven counts of attempted murder — one for each occupant in the minibus, the spokesman said. They were also charged with using firearms under the influence of alcohol, and all of them appeared in court.
The charges were provisionally withdrawn, but the Director of Public Prosecution reinstated them Wednesday and plans to move ahead on the charges later this year, the spokesman said.
In court Thursday, the prosecutors said neither the state, nor Botha, was aware that he might face attempted murder charges, thinking the case had been dropped.
Oscar Pistorius Denies Murder in Killing of Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp … “I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated”
This morning in a court room in Pretoria, South Africa, Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee Olympic track star, flatly stated that he did not kill his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. In an affidavit read by his defense attorney Barry Rou, it stated, “I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated.” “I had no intention to kill my girlfriend.” Pistorius denied that he intended to take her life when he opened fire at a closed bathroom door at his home last week. One has to ask the following question, did he ever ask, who was there? Who shoots indiscriminately at a closed, locked door when you knew your girlfriend was in the home? Judge Nair adjourned the case until Wednesday without ruling on whether the athlete would be granted bail.
Facing a charge of premeditated murder in the death of his girlfriend, Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee track star and one of the world’s best-known athletes, flatly denied on Tuesday that he intended to take her life when he opened fire at a closed bathroom door at his home last week.
His assertion contradicted an earlier accusation from the prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, that Mr. Pistorius committed premeditated murder when he rose from his bed, pulled on artificial legs, walked more than 20 feet from a bedroom and pumped four bullets into the door, three of which struck Reeva Steenkamp on the other side.
It was the first time that either the prosecution or Mr. Pistorius had publicly provided details of their radically divergent accounts of a killing that has shocked the nation and made news around the world.
However, the judge in the case, Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair, has sided with the prosecution and has determined that Oscar Pistorius will be charged with premeditated murder.
As his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, cowered behind a locked door in a tiny bathroom, Oscar Pistorius strapped on his prosthetic legs, grabbed his pistol, strode seven yards to the door and fired through it four times, killing her, prosecutors alleged Tuesday as they laid out their case against the double-amputee Olympic runner in Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
According to prosecutor Gerrie Nel, Pistorius’ actions amounted to premeditated murder.
In a major blow for Pistorius, Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair sided with the prosecution, ruling that for the purposes of the bail hearing the charge against Pistorius was premeditated murder, a decision that will make it difficult for him to be granted bail.
Reports Swirl that Oscar Pistorius’ Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was Shot Four Times through Bathroom Door, Also Claims that Steroids & Bloodied Cricket Bat Found in Home
Gun shots, steroids and bloodied cricket bats, oh my …
There are shocking new reports from Johannesburg, South Africa and the murder of Oscar Pistorius’ Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. According to a CNN report, Reeva Steenkamp was shot four times through the bathroom door. We have to take this story with some skepticism as the account is from a South African official familiar with the case who was not authorized to release details to the media. However, if true, and obviously a crime scene investigation of Oscar Pistorius’ home could easily prove whether there are gun shots to the bathroom door, this would disprove the “intruder” defense. Oscar Pistorius has been charged with the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.
Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner thought he had issues following this race … now he has the race of his life, Pic: Wired
Model Reeva Steenkamp was shot four times through the bathroom door at the home of Olympian Oscar Pistorius, a South African official familiar with the case told CNN on Monday.
She was alive after she was shot and was carried downstairs by Pistorius, said the official, who was not authorized to release details to the media.
The details are the latest to emerge in the shooting death that has roiled the nation, and left South Africans asking what went so terribly wrong inside the upscale Pretoria home of the man nicknamed “Blade Runner” for his lightning-fast prosthetic legs.
Also, The Sun (pics) and Daily Mirror are reporting that police found steroids and a blood stained cricket bat at the home of Oscar Pistorius. Another piece of information that we have to take presently with a grain of salt, but if true, completely damning to the Blade Runner. According to South African sources, the discovery of the bloodied cricket bat emerged as police sources reportedly told South Africa’s independent City Press newspaper that Steenkamp’s skull had been “crushed”. Another source reportedly told the paper that “There was lots of blood on the bat.”
Police also discovered a blood-stained cricket bat in the Blade Runner’s mansion in Pretoria, South Africa — and evidence of heavy drinking before the 3am shooting
Cops are now probing a theory that Pistorius may have blasted Reeva in an explosion of fury caused by the performance-boosting steroids.
They are investigating whether murder suspect Pistorius was in the grip of “roid rage” — a side-effect of high doses of the outlawed drugs.
Officers who searched the 26-year-old’s home after lover Reeva was killed in the bathroom are said to have found steroids. Blood samples taken from Pistorius are being tested for the drugs.
A source close to the investigation said: “Steroid drugs were found at Pistorius’s home together with evidence of heavy drinking. That’s why police have specifically ordered that he be tested for steroids.”
Reeva Steenkamp’s Reality TV Show ‘Tropica Island of Treasure’ airs Following Her Valentine’s Day Death … Boyfriend Oscar Pistorius Charged with Murder
Haunting and prophetic broadcast of Reeva Steenkamp’s Reality TV Show ‘Tropica Island of Treasure’ airs in the wake of models murder.
The South African Broadcasting Corp. aired the reality TV program ”Tropika Island of Treasure” just days after the death of Reeva Steenkamp at the hands of South African Olympic icon Oscar “the Blade Runner” Pistorius. Her boy friend Pistorius has been charged with murder. According to accounts, Steenkamp told her family that she was very proud of being in the show and wanted them to watch it. However, the video that has been released is rather bizarre, haunting and eye opening as to the comments that she made making reference to your journey in life and how you exit is important. Wow, how prophetic.
“I think the way that you go out, not just your journey in life, but the way that you go out and the way you make your exit is so important,” Steenkamp says in the video. “You either made an impact in a positive or a negative way, but just maintain integrity and maintain class and just remain true to yourself.
“I’m going to miss you all so much and I love you very, very much.”
The South African Broadcasting Corp. aired the “Tropika Island of Treasure” program, showing the late Steenkamp — the victim of a Valentine’s Day shooting at the home of Pistorius, the Olympic star and double-amputee athlete. She is laughing and smiling, and blowing a kiss toward the camera in Jamaica when it was filmed last year.
SABC said it was dedicated to Steenkamp and displayed the words “Reeva Steenkamp 19 August 1983 – 14 February 2013″ between images of a rose and a candle in a short tribute before the show aired. She was also seen blowing the kiss as she sat on a Jamaican beach and her name again appeared on screen with the years of her birth and death.
The country was rocked Thursday when news broke of Steenkamp’s shooting death at the upscale house of the star athlete. Pistorius was arrested and charged with her murder and remains in custody in a police station. His family has strongly denied prosecutors’ claims that he murdered her.
Steenkamp’s family said earlier Saturday that it had not been contacted by either the SABC — South Africa’s national broadcaster — or the show’s producers for permission to air it, but were not opposed to it because Reeva wanted everyone to see it.
The Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius’ Official Statement Rejecting Murder Charge “In the Strongest Terms” Against Him for Killing Girl Friend Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius released a statement regarding the murder charges against him. He is denying the murder charges “in the strongest terms”. Pistorius faces murder charges as the prosecutors in Johannesburg, South Africa are charging Oscar Pistorius’ with premeditated murder. So much for the accidental murder story that was speculated by the media initially after the incident was reported. Some thought that Oscar Pistorius might have mistakenly thought his girl friend was an intruder and shot her. The forensics will tell the story in this case. For the Blade Runner’s sake, he better hope that the fatal gun shot wounds to his girl friend were not from close range.
Oscar Pistorius’ arrives for court appearance hiding his face from the media.
“Oscar Pistorius has made history as an Olympic and Paralympic sportsman and has been an inspiration to others the world over.
“He has made it very clear that he would like to send his deepest sympathies to the family of Reeva. He would also like to express his thanks through us today for all the messages of support he has received — but as stated our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family – regardless of the circumstances of this terrible, terrible tragedy.
“We will endeavour to issue other statements as matters develop but in these circumstances I am sure you appreciate it is very difficult to answer any more specific questions. Thank you very much for your attention.”
South African Olympic Runner Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner, Charged with Murder … Claims of Accidentally Shooting His Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp When he mistook her for an Intruder
The Blade Runner: From Olympic Hero to Arrested for Murder …
South African paralympic star Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner, has been charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The incident occurred at 4 am at Pistorius’ home in Petrotia, north-east of Johannesburg. According to the police, 30 year old Reeva Steenkamp was shot in the head, the chest and the arm. Some are reporting that they think that Oscar Pistorius may have mistakenly thought she was an intruder and it was a Valentine Day’s surprise that went terribly wrong. Just yesterday, Steenkamp spoke excitedly on Twitter about her plans for Valentine’s Day.She said: ‘What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay’. However, Pistorius has still been charged with murder. Complicating matter is the fact that the police have been called to his home on several occasions since 2011 to deal with ‘allegations of a domestic nature’. Police officials said they plan to oppose the international track star’s expected application for bail at a court hearing scheduled for later on Thursday.
South African paralympic star Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder and is in custody after reportedly shooting his girlfriend dead in the middle of the night after mistaking her for a burglar.
It happened at 4am this morning and the woman may have been killed after a Valentine’s Day surprise went tragically wrong at his mansion in Pretoria.
The dead woman is Reeva Steenkamp, 30, a former FHM model who has been dating the 26-year-old for two months.
She was shot in the head, the chest and the arm, police in the country have said, and Mr Pistorius will appear in court later today after a blood test in hospital.
Pretoria police spokeswoman Denise Beukes confirmed he had been charged with murder, adding they had been called to his home on several occasions since 2011 to deal with ‘allegations of a domestic nature’.
Just yesterday Miss Steenkamp spoke excitedly on Twitter about her plans for Valentine’s Day.
She said: ‘What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay’
From Olympic hero to being charged with murder. In 2012 South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius made history as the first double amputee to compete in the Olympic Games. Now he faces murder charges.
UPDATE I: More from NBC, VIDEO
A publicist for Reeva Steenkamp, a model whom Pistorius was dating, confirmed to NBC’s TODAY that her client was dead. She described the incident as a “huge loss for everyone and too shocking for words.”
UPDATE II: According to reports, Oscar Pistorius has been held as his bail hearing has been postponed.
UPDATE III: ‘I Am The Bullet In The Chamber’ Nike Ad Taken Off Pistorius’ Website Following Murder Charge
UPDATE IV: Oscar Pistorius formally charged with murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
Prosecutors say they will pursue a premeditated murder charge against Oscar Pistorius as the Paralympic superstar openly wept in court Friday after being charged with shooting his girlfriend to death.
Pistorius was formally charged at Pretoria Magistrate’s Court with one count of murder.