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Will Pistorius avoid jail time for killing girlfriend?

Oscar Pistorius emerged Friday from his murder trial without being labeled a murderer for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death on Valentine's Day almost two years ago.

Judge finds Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide

But Judge Thokozile Masipa did find the double-amputee track star guilty of culpable homicide -- akin to manslaughter in the U.S. -- which CBS News' Debora Patta says is still a serious charge in South Africa, and could still land him in jail.

"In previous cases she has been known to be a heavy sentence," Patta says of Masipa, noting that under South Africa's system of justice, sentencing is determined entirely at the discretion of the judge.

"She could decide to give him a suspended sentence, which means he wouldn't spend any time in jail at all, or she could go as high as 15, 20 years," Patta explains.

When the sentencing phase of the trial begins on Oct. 13, Pistorius' defense team is likely to request a sentence that keeps him out of jail, citing his disability. On option could be a correctional supervision -- essentially a period of house arrest.

The first phase of Pistorius' battle against murder charges is over, and he's won, but he and his legal team will still have to fight to keep him out of prison.