Only Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius knows exactly what happened on Feb. 14, 2013, at his home, when the South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, but murder has now been ruled out as the official explanation.

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Pistorius’ publicized trial reached its apex Thursday, when a South African judge delivered part of the verdict, taking murder off the list but deferring the rest of her ruling until Friday, as the BBC reported:

Judge Thokozile Masipa said prosecutors had not proved he meant to kill his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, prompting tears from the Olympic sprinter.

But she said he acted hastily and had been negligent. Mr Pistorius says he thought an intruder was in the toilet.

Adjourning the trial, the judge said a reasonable person would not have fired.

The BBC’s Andrew Harding, who was in court in Pretoria, says she is expected to deliver a verdict of culpable homicide (manslaughter) but has not yet spelled it out.

Earlier, Judge Masipa described Mr Pistorius as an evasive witness but said this did not mean he was guilty.

Clearing him of murder charges, she said he could not have foreseen killing whoever was behind the toilet door.

The Guardian put together a detailed summary of the ruling after Thursday’s announcement, including Judge Masipa’s rationale for dropping a murder verdict out of the equation.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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