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Oscar Pistorius not guilty of premeditated murder

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Oscar Pistorius was found not guilty of premeditated murder on Thursday morning. A South African judge ruled that the six-time Paralympic gold medalist did not intentionally shoot and kill his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year but could still be convicted of culpable homicide.

Pistorius shook and wept as Judge Thokozile Masipa delivered the verdict.

“Clearly he did not subjectively foresee this as a possibility that he would kill the person behind the door, let alone the deceased as he thought she was in the bedroom,” Masipa told the courtroom, via NBC News. “That, however, is not the end of the matter.”

Masipa said it has not been ruled out that Pistorius is guilty of culpable homicide, which would be similar to what most call manslaughter. The judge noted that Pistorius has been a “very poor witness” throughout the trial and that he has contradicted himself and been “evasive” while testifying. She also dismissed the notion that Pistorius was suffering from any type of temporary insanity when the incident took place.

We’ll update as the verdict continues.

Oscar Pistorius reportedly involved in altercation at a bar

Reeva Steenkamp Oscar PistoriusOscar Pistorius was involved in an altercation with another man at a bar in South Africa over the weekend. According to Pistorius, clothing company big wig Jared Mortimer aggressively accosted him and started the dust-up. Mortimer claims Pistorius was drunk and sparked the exchange by insulting his friends and South African President Jacob Zuma.

As the Los Angeles Times noted, Pistorius’ spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess said in a statement that Pistorius was minding his business at the VIP Room in Johannesburg when Mortimer approached him and started talking about the Reeva Steenkamp trial.

“The individual in question, according to our client, started to aggressively engage him on matters relating to the trial,” Burgess said. “An argument ensued during which our client asked to be left alone. Oscar left soon thereafter with his cousin.”

Mortimer had a much different story for South African media outlets, claiming that Pistorius was drunk and being aggressive. Pistorius and Mortimer allegedly know each other through some of Oscar’s former friends.

“Oscar said to me, ‘Oh, you are the notorious Jared Mortimer,’” Mortimer told the Star. “Then he started talking about some of my friends, and he said he had statements and evidence that would get my friends into trouble. But he wouldn’t use it because he wasn’t that kind of person.

“He was drunk, but not bad. We were drinking tequila, and I still remember putting down my drink and thinking I couldn’t drink it while my friends were being spoken of like that.”

Mortimer says Pistorius then aggressively jabbed a finger into his chest, so Mortimer responded by shoving him. Pistorius reportedly fell backwards over a chair.

“He was poking me and saying that I would never get the better of him,” Mortimer explained. “He was close to my face and at that point I pushed him to get him away from me. A chair was behind his legs and he fell to the ground.”

Regardless of who is telling the truth, this is not the type of publicity Pistorius needs with his trial set to conclude later this month. Prosecutors have already attempted to prove that he has a temper and that Steenkamp admitted she was afraid of him at times. Bar fights certainly won’t improve the Paralympian’s image.

Eery video shows Oscar Pistorius reenacting night Reeva Steenkamp was killed

Reeva Steenkamp Oscar PistoriusThe Oscar Postorius murder trial is set to conclude later this month. The trial has included some disturbing witness accounts about what happened the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed, but nothing has been quite as eery as the video that was released on Sunday of Pistorius reenacting what he says happened the night he shot his girlfriend.

Australian TV’s Seven Network “Sunday Night” program aired a video this week that showed Pistorius moving through his house on his stumps in an attempt to explain how he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder and killed her. The reenactment was paid for by Pistorius’ uncle and done for a Cleveland-based firm called The Evidence Room.

The goal of the reenactment was to create a 3D version of Pistorius’ account of the events. However, Pisorius’ lawyers say the footage was “obtained illegally” and is a clear breach of the non-disclosure agreement between the six-time Paralympic gold medalist and The Evidence Room. It is unclear how the network obtained the footage.

H/T The Big Lead

Oscar Pistorius claims he accidentally fired his gun

Reeva Steenkamp Oscar PistoriusThe Oscar Pistorius murder trial took an interesting turn on Wednesday when the six-time Paralympic gold medalist testified that he accidentally fired the shots that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius’ defense all along has been that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, but not that the actual gunfire was a mistake.

Pistorius was being cross-examined by prosecutor Gerrie Nel when he claimed he did not mean to fire his weapon four times.

“I made a mistake,” he said several times.

“You made a mistake?” Nel replied. “You killed a person. You shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp. Why don’t you take responsibility for that?”

Nel then went on to show a close-up photo of Steenkamp’s head wound and told Pistorius to look at it. He spoke about a news segment earlier this year that that showed Pistorius firing shots at a watermelon.

“You know the same happened to Reeva’s head,” Nel said. “It exploded … It had the exact same effect, the bullet that went into her head.”

Pistorius then began sobbing and a recess was taken so he could compose himself. When he returned, he clarified what he meant when he said that the gunshots were accidental.

“I did not purposefully fire the shots through the door,” he said. “The accident was that I discharged my firearm because I believed an intruder was coming to attack me … The discharge was accidental. Before thinking, out of fear, I had fired four shots.”

Pistorius had previously testified that he fired the shots through the bathroom door because he feared there was an intruder inside. He never claimed the actual firing of the weapon was an accident. Neighbors have testified that they heard a woman scream before the shots were fired.

Reeva Steenkamp told Oscar Pistorius ‘I’m scared of you sometimes’

Reeva Steenkamp Oscar PistoriusA series of messages that were exchanged between Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a smartphone app called WhatsApp were read at Pistorius’ trial on Monday. The messages, which were downloaded from Steenkamp’s phone by police captain Francois Moller, indicated that Steenkamp was frightened by Pistorius’ temper just weeks before he shot and killed her.

“I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me,” Steenkamp wrote in one message, according to CNN.com. “You make me happy 90% of the time … I’m not some other bitch.”

Moller noted that 90% of the messages exchanged between the two were normal and loving in nature. However, there were several that seemed to show Pistorius had an issue with jealousy and would confront Steenkamp because of it.

“You have picked on me incessantly,” she wrote in another message. “I was not flirting with anyone today and I feel sick that you suggested that.”

Less than a week before Steenkamp was killed, she wrote a message to Pistorius expressing her disappointment after he apparently lashed out at her in public.

“I didn’t think you would criticize me for doing that, especially so loudly that others could hear…” Steenkamp wrote. “I regard myself as a lady and I didn’t feel like one after we left.”

Earlier on Monday, Pistorius’ neighbor Anette Stipp testified that she heard a series of three gunshots the morning of the shooting, followed by a woman and a man screaming, and then more shots after the screaming. Pistorius’ defense team has argued that the only screaming neighbors could have heard was that of Oscar after he realized he had shot his girlfriend. Stipp said she heard “terrified, terrified screaming.”

“It sounds to me as if there’s a family murder,” she said. Why else would she scream like that?”

The trial, which was originally expected to be over by March 20, is now scheduled to run through mid-May.

More from the Oscar Pistorius trial:

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Oscar Pistorius reportedly shot gun out of car sunroof without warning

Reeva Steenkamp Oscar PistoriusThe prosecution in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial seems intent on proving that the six-time Paralympic gold medal winner has a thing for guns. On Tuesday, Pistorius’ friend Darren Fresco took the stand and spoke about an incident where an allegedly angry Pistorius fired a gun through the sunroof of a car.

Fresco said that he was the driver of a car that was stopped by police in 2012 for a routine traffic violation. During the stop, Fresco said an officer handled Pistorius’ weapon. This allegedly infuriated Pistorius.

“(The) officer had picked up the accused’s weapon, to which the accused said ‘You can’t just touch another man’s gun,'” Fresco recalled. “He was furious about it, that someone else had touched his gun.”

To express his displeasure, Fresco claims Pistorius later fired the weapon through the sunroof of the car.

Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor also testified about the sunroof shooting incident, claiming Oscar and Fresco joked about shooting a “robot,” or traffic light, before Pistorius fired the gun. Taylor also said that Pistorius used to sleep with a gun at his bedside and woke up several times during the night to investigate noises he heard while they were dating.

Last week, another friend of Pistorius testified that Oscar accidentally fired a weapon in a restaurant once and begged Fresco to take the blame.

We all know I’m hardly a legal expert, but I could see the “trigger-happy” angle working for either the prosecution or the defense in this case. Pistorius’ alleged quick finger could explain why he was so quick to shoot at what he thought was an intruder, or it could explain why he was so quick to shoot Reeva Steenkamp if they got into an argument. That will be for the judge to decide.

Oscar Pistorius vomited during Reeva Steenkamp autopsy testimony

Reeva Steenkamp Oscar PistoriusWhether Oscar Pistorius is guilty or innocent, there is no denying he is having a difficult time sitting through some of the testimonies in the Reeva Steenkamp shooting trial. On Monday, Pistorius sobbed and vomited into a bucket during a testimony from the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Steenkamp.

According to NBC’s Olympic Talk, Gert Saayman gave a graphic testimony that included details about Steenkamp’s shattered skull and descriptions of her fatal gunshot wounds. Judge Thokozile Masipa banned any live video, audio or tweeting of Saayman’s testimony after Saayman warned that the autopsy findings “could compromise the dignity of the deceased.”

Marzanne vd Berg, a reporter from South Africa, noted that a short adjournment was needed after Pistorius threw up at the start of Saayman’s testimony. Pistorius was later photographed with a bucket underneath him and a towel on his head, with reporters noting that he was making “loud retching noises” during the proceedings.

Pistorius also broke down in court last week as a neighbor described the scene he discovered when he went over to Pistorius’ house the night Steenkamp was killed. He has been extremely emotional throughout the entire trial.