Updated 28 February 2014

Sportsmen who kill

From OJ to Oscar, a number of high-profile athletes have found themselves in the spotlight of a murder trial. Inevitably, these trials have attracted a lot more hype than those of the average suspected killer. Here are some of the most scandalous.

OJ Simpson
The most famous entry on this list, Simpson was accused of the murder of his wife and her friend in California in 1994. After a trial dogged by controversy, Simpson was found not guilty of murder. However, a subsequent civil case found him liable for the wrongful deaths of the pair of victims. H was ordered to pay the families $33 500 000 in damages.

In an ironic twist, Simpson was later arrested for other charges unrelated to the murders and in December 2008 was sentenced to 33 years in prison. He is currently in prison.

Bees Roux
The Lions prop was convicted in 2011 of beating to death Sergeant Ntshimane Mogale after being stopped for driving under the influence. Roux claimed he was protecting himself against being robbed by the officer, he received a suspended sentence and was ordered to pay R750 000 to Mogale's wife. He is currently free and playing for the Lions.

Read: Oscar trial: why he deserves to be on TV

Chris Benoit
Wrestling world champion Benoit made headlines in 2007 for the murder of his wife and 7-year old child. Following the murders, a number of theories we're put forward to explain the behaviour behind the act. One of the most popular was an attack of so-called "roid-rage"' or steroid abuse. However, Benoit hung himself two days after the murders and the subsequent autopsy suggested that Benoit suffered severe brain damage over the course of his career and that thus could have been the root of his problems.

Rae Currath
Currath was a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers at the time of his arrest for murder in 1999. Currath was charged with conspiracy to murder his girlfriend, Cherica Adams, after she refused to abort his unborn child. Adams was killed in a drive-by attack on her car. Currath went on the run but was found in the trunk of his car, surrounded by candy bars and bottles of his own urine. He was sentenced to 18-24 years in prison. He is currently in prison and is expected to be released in 2018.

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius was charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. With the trial set to start in March 2014, Pistorius is claiming that he confused her for an intruder, while the state is claiming that he was well aware of his actions. Complicating factors include the fact that Steenkamp was fully dressed and had taken two cellphones to the bathroom with her. The trial begins on the 3rd May and will be televised live.

Picture: Gun shot from Shutterstock

Read more:
How a murderer's mind works
What fuels family murder?
Retired athletes struggle with addiction and illness




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