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Oscar Pistorius

Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius is guilty, according to a new ruling by South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal.

On Thursday, the court overturned the 29-year-old South African runner's prior verdict of culpable homicide, which he garnered in 2014 after fatally shooting his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013. Steenkamp had been inside the couple's home bathroom when Pistororius says he mistook her for an intruder in the middle of the night and shot her four times from outside the locked toilet door. He was initially arrested and charged with her murder. 

While Pistorius had been acquitted of premeditated murder charges in September 2014, he was later sentenced to five years in prison for his lesser charge of culpable homicide, also known as negligent killing. That sentence, however, was cut short when he was released from prison after one year and placed on house arrest in October. 

Judge Eric Leach ruled Thursday that Pistorious should have foreseen that firing a gun would have killed whoever was behind the door in his bathroom, regardless of the person's identity. State prosecutors appealed the verdict of culpable homicide, seeking a conviction on more severe charges. However, the original court judgment had been "fundamentally flawed," Leach said.

"The anticipation was tremendous this morning because we didn't really know what was going to happen," June Steenkamp, Reeva's mother, told Today's Savannah Guthrie Thursday.

"I wanted respect for my daughter's life and that's what I got today," she added. "She hasn't lost her life for nothing. She'll be remembered."

The athlete could face at least 15 years in prison, as that is the minimum sentence for a murder charge in the country. 

Pistorius rose to fame as a double amputee nicknamed "Blade Runner" for the prosthetic limbs he used while competing in the Olympics and Paralympics as a professional sprint runner. 

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