Verdict in Oscar Pistorius Trial Expected on Thursday
After six months of trial, Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is set to learn his fate by the end of this week.
The athlete (27), who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at their home, is being charged by the State of South Africa with premeditated murder.
If convicted, Pistorius will face a life sentence. The double amputee has denied killing his 29-year-old girlfriend on Valentine’s Day last year.
The verdict, which is expected to be released on Thursday, will bring to an end one of the most talked about trials of the last few years.
Oscar Pistorius pictured with Reeva Steenkamp less than three weeks before the incident.
The judge, Judge Thokozile Masipa will explain her verdict on Thursday. This will come after six months of evidence was heard in the case. She has to review more than 4,000 pages of evidence.
Judge Masipa could convict Pistorius of premeditated murder, which has a mandatory life sentence, but she could also convict him of murder without premeditation – a lesser crime which still carries 20 years in jail.
Other options available to the judge include cupable homicide based on negligent or reckless discharge of his pistol – this carries a 15-year sentence behind bars. On the other hand, she could accept his argument of ‘putative self-defence’ and acquit him.
Oscar Pistorius pictured during the trial.
The defence argued that Pistorius had no motive for killing his girlfriend and that his disability ensured that he could not have responded to an intrusion in the house like an able-bodied person. Meanwhile the prosecution claimed that he had intended to kill Ms. Steenkamp when he fired four gun shots through the bathroom door.
Ms. Steenkamp was alleged to be in the bathroom hiding after the pair had had an argument.
Pistorius, who also faces three lesser weapons charge, has since sold the house where the incident occurred to help pay for his legal bills.