Oscar Pistorius Charged With Premeditated Murder

Oscar Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder on Tuesday as he sobbed softly with his head in his hands.

The Paralympian and Olympian was charged with the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, while the runner’s lawyer claimed the shooting was an accident.

Pistorius appeared in court on Tuesday for the second time since the Valentine’s Day shooting near Pretoria, South Africa. The Associated Press reports that Prosecutor Gerrie Nel spoke to the court about what happened on Thursday.

Nel alleged that the double-amputee got out of bed, put on his prosthetics, and walked seven yards to the bathroom. Once there, he shot Steenkamp, 29, through the door several times. Nel added that the door was broken afterward.

Nel alleged that the killing was premeditated because Pistorious planned to say he thought he was shooting an intruder. The prosecutor added:

“It was all part of the preplanning. Why would a burglar lock himself inside the bathroom?”

Oscar Pistorius has not yet spoken publicly about his girlfriend’s death. A statement by his family, however, suggests that the athlete will dispute the charges against him.

Al Jazeera notes that defense lawyer Barry Roux argued that Pistorius should be allowed out on bail because there are no other charges outstanding against him. Roux also argued that the shooting was accidental. He stated:

“We submit it is not even murder. There is no concession this is a murder.”

Pistorius arrived at the courthouse before 7 am on Tuesday. He wore a gray suit, blue shirt, and tie and appeared solemn and grim during the hearing. When the judge asked how he felt, the athlete shrugged and stared straight ahead.

The athlete became the first double-amputee to run in the Olympics when he took to the track with carbon fiber blades in London last summer. His agent has said that Oscar Pistorius would face life in prison if he is found guilty of murdering his girlfriend.

[Image by Jim Thurston [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]