The judge in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has cleared the former Olympic and Paralympic sprinter of the most serious charge in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend.

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Judge Thokozile Masipa said that the prosecution had not proved that Pistorius was guilty of premeditated murder when he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp in the bathroom of his home on Valentine's Day 2013. If found guilty on that charge, Pistorius could have faced a sentence of life in prison and been required to serve a minimum of 25 years. Pistorius also faces years in jail if found guilty of murder without pre-planning, or of negligent killing. Pistorius could also be acquitted if Masipa believes he made a tragic error.

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