Pistorius to be sentenced for culpable homicide Oct. 13

South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius will be sentenced on Oct. 13 after being found guilty of culpable homicide for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the judge said on Friday.

Judge Thokozile Masipa granted a bail extension for Pistorius, who avoided more serious murder charges after Masipa found he was negligent in shooting Steenkamp through a locked toilet door, but ruled that he did not intend to kill her.

Pistorius, the double amputee who became one of the biggest names in athletics, said he shot dead model and law graduate Steenkamp by accident believing her to be an intruder.

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Pistorius was also cleared of two unrelated firearms charges – illegal possession of ammunition, and firing a pistol out of the sun-roof of a car – but was convicted of firing a pistol under the table of a packed Johannesburg restaurant.

Masipa based her culpable homicide decision on the fact that Pistorius had acted unreasonably and negligently when he fired four shots from a 9mm pistol into a toilet door in his luxury Pretoria home, killing Steenkamp, who was behind it, almost instantly.

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Culpable homicide - South Africa's equivalent to manslaughter - carries up to 15 years in prison.

The state had argued that Pistorius was deliberately trying to kill Steenkamp, a law graduate and model, after a row in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year, but Masipa ruled that prosecutors had failed to prove the allegations.

Pistorius said he had fired in the mistaken belief that an intruder had broken into his bathroom and was hiding in the toilet cubicle.

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