Oscar Pistorius will learn his fate Sept. 11, the judge in his murder trial said after closing arguments ended Friday.
“We shall be back here on the 11th of September at 9:30 in the morning for the judgment,” judge Thokozile Masipa said in the Pretoria, South Africa court room.
Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, shot four times through a locked door in his Pretoria home bathroom on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013, hitting and killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp inside.
Pistorius has said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder. The prosecution argues Pistorius shot Steenkamp after an argument.
Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder. If found not guilty of premeditated murder, he could be convicted of lesser charges, such as culpable homicide, South Africa’s version of manslaughter for negligent killing.
“The accused intended to kill a human being,” lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel said. “If he fired indiscriminately into that toilet while knowing that there’s a human being in the toilet, then he’s guilty of murder.”
The murder trial, initially slated for March 3-20, concluded its 41st day scattered among several breaks the last five months.
“It comes down to that split second … in the accused’s life when he was standing at the entrance to the bathroom with a firearm pointed at the door,” lead defense lawyer Barry Roux said in wrapping his closing argument. “That’s what this case is all about. Should he have discharged the shots? … If the answer is yes, that’s the end of the case.”