Pistorius Guilty of Murder

Appeals court chucks manslaughter conviction
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 3, 2015 3:26 AM CST
Pistorius Guilty of Murder
The prison cell in Pretoria, South Africa, where Oscar Pistorius stayed for a year for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.   (AP Photo)

A South African appeals court has convicted Oscar Pistorius of murder, overturning a lower court's conviction of the double-amputee Olympian on the lesser charge of manslaughter for shooting his girlfriend to death in 2013. Justice Lorimer Leach of the Supreme Court of Appeal delivered the ruling by the five-judge appeals court Thursday in Bloemfontein and said the trial court, the North Gauteng High Court, should impose the sentence, which is expected to be around 15 years.

Pistorius killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early morning of Valentine's Day in 2013. He insisted he thought she was an intruder behind a door in his home. The prosecution said Pistorius shot Steenkamp during an argument. Leach said regardless of who might have been behind the door, Pistorius should have known someone could be killed if he fired. Pistorius, who's currently under house arrest after serving a year of his five-year sentence for manslaughter, will have to return to court to receive his sentence, the BBC reports. (More Oscar Pistorius stories.)

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