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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Oscar Pistorius not guilty of premeditated murder 09.11.14 at 7:36 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL: Steelers at Ravens, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
College football: Louisiana Tech at North Texas, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Houston at BYU, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Basketball: FIBA World Cup, United States vs, Lithuania, 3 p.m. (ESPN)


— A South African judge ruled Thursday that Oscar Pistorius did not intentionally kill his girlfriend when he shot her in their home last year, but the former Olympic hero still could be convicted of culpable homicide.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, who is deciding Pistorius’ fate along with two other judges, began the verdict portion of the trial Thursday morning as a tense Pistorius sat listening. Pistorius broke down and started crying when Masipa said he was not guilty of premeditated murder in the death of Reeva Steenkamp.

The verdict portion could last for hours or even days as the judge explains her analysis of the evidence and testimony.

MASHUP POLL: Should Oscar Pistorius have been convicted of murder?

  • Yes, there's no way he would have shot her repeatedly by accident (85%, 212 Votes)
  • No, there's too much doubt in this case (15%, 38 Votes)

Total Voters: 250

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Masipa called Pistorius a “very poor witness” during the trial, noting that he avoided answering some of the prosecution’s questions, but said that it does not mean he is guilty. Pistorius claimed he thought Steenkamp was a burglar when he shot her repeatedly through the bathroom door in the middle of the night.

The trial has lasted five months, including a one-month break so that Pistorius could be examined by mental health specialists.

Pistorius, who uses prosthetic legs, participated in the 2012 London Olympics, inspiring people worldwide.

— Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was granted a leave of absence from the team to consider his future in football. Abraham, in his 15th NFL season, suffered a concussion in Monday’s win over the Chargers, but coach Bruce Arians said that was not the main reason Abraham was considering retiring.

Abraham, who missed most of training camp because he was receiving treatment for an alcohol problem following a DUI arrest in Atlanta, has five days to mull things over before he must be either reinstated or ruled out for the rest of the season.

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Read More: Bruce Arians, Jeff Wilpon, John Abraham, Oscar Pistorius
Cardinals hire Bruce Arians as coach 01.18.13 at 9:28 am ET
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The Cardinals filled the last head coaching vacancy in the NFL by hiring Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

Arians, 60, served as the Colts’ interim head coach this season while Chuck Pagano was being treated for leukemia. The Colts were 9-3 with Arians at the helm, and he said that experience taught him that being a head coach is “not as hard as it’s supposed to be.”

“I think it’s all about building relationships,” Arians said. “Coaching is all about relationships. As long as it’s built on trust, loyalty, and respect, anything is possible.”

Arizona confirmed in a release on Thursday night that Arians received a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year. He replaces Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired after six seasons with the Cardinals and was named Chargers offensive coordinator on Thursday.

Arians has succeed Whisenhunt once before, when he took over for him as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator in 2007. There, he said he rewrote and simplified Whisenhunt’s playbook, a welcome statement for Cardinals fans eager for change.

The Cardinals finished 5-11 for the second time in three years this season. Arians will try to bring stability to that side of their game, especially the quarterback position, where four different players started last year.

Read More: Arizona Cardinals, Bruce Arians, Rumor Mill,