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Judge rules Oscar Pistorius is not guilty of murder

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Posted at 8:11 AM, Sep 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-11 10:51:03-04

A partial verdict for Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius is in. He’s been cleared of murder charges related to the shooting death of then-girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, though there are still more charges for the judge to rule on when court resumes Friday.

JUDGE THOKOZILE MASIPA ON CNN: "The state clearly has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder. There are just not enough facts."

Soon after that, Judge Thokozile Masipa also ruled Pistorius not guilty of common law murder, meaning Pistorius will not be convicted of murdering Steenkamp. A guilty verdict for a charge equivalent to manslaughter is still possible and the judge said Pistorius was "negligent" in Steenkamp's death, though Pistorius visibly shook and sobbed as it became clear he wouldn't go to prison for murder.

Pistorius faced a flurry of charges including premeditated murder which carried a minimum sentence of life in prison or 25 years, culpable homicide, two counts of discharging firearms in public and illegal possession of ammunition.

As Judge Thokozile Masipa read a reportedly 100-page verdict, she was unflinchingly critical of witnesses, both sides of the case and Pistorius — who she called a poor and evasive witness. She relied instead on phone records and objective evidence to establish a timeline of Steenkamp's death.

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