Yesterday, paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who was accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after he fired shots through a bathroom door supposedly thinking she was a burglar, was found not guilty of pre-meditated murder.
Today, he was found guilty of culpable homicide, which will see him do a lot less time. Unsurprisingly, his fans, known as Pistorians, have mixed feelings about the result.
They’ve stood by him through the whole trial, tweeting messages of support amid the many detractors who believe Pistorius intended to kill his girlfriend, and that his courtroom emotion is as false as his defence. No surprise, then, that they were out in force yesterday for Judge Masipa’s ruling.
Those who could, went down to the courtroom to celebrate the verdict and catch a glimpse of the athlete; and those who couldn’t make it, settled for sharing loads of memes, writing open letters on blogs and generally voicing their support on Twitter.
Today, Judge Masipa ruled that he is guilty of culpable homicide, which is taking an action that led to a death, but isn’t seen to be as bad as murder. This will mean up to 15 years in prison, but with no minimum sentence, there’s a chance he could get out a lot earlier.
How will the Pistorians react to this? So far, they’ve been pretty silent, but expect the blog posts and tweets to hit in full force later today.
One thing’s for certain: despite the fact he was found not guilty of murder, he has a long way to go if he wants to clear his name. An ex girlfriend has come forward and spoken of how he used to terrify her, and she ‘feared he’d kill me... I hid his gun’. Samantha Taylor dated the athlete for 18 months, before he started seeing Reeva Steenkamp, and claims she was left with scars where he ‘bit and pinched’ her.
So his reputation may have been irreparably damaged regardless of how long he spends behind bars. Another battleground for the #Pistorians perhaps.
You might also be interested in...
Follow Stevie Martin on Twitter: @5tevieM
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.