Pistorius charged with premeditated murder

The former Olympian denied the charge, saying he loved Reeva Steenkamp "deeply" and did not intend to kill her

Topics: Oscar Pistorius, reeva steenkamp, Crime, Violence, Violence Against Women, ,

Pistorius charged with premeditated murder (Credit: AP)

Chief magistrate Desmond Nair ruled on Tuesday that Oscar Pistorius would be charged with the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp, making it unlikely that the former Olympian will be granted bail.

Prosecutors allege that on the morning of the fatal shooting, as Steenkamp hid behind a locked bathroom door, Pistorius took the time to put on his prosthetic legs, locate his gun and walk the twenty feet to the bathroom before firing four bullets through the door, three of which fatally struck and killed Steenkamp.

But a tearful Pistorius denied the charges.

“I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated, ” he said in an affidavit read to the courtroom, “I had no intention to kill my girlfriend.”

“We were deeply in love and I could not be happier. I know she felt the same way,” he added.

The defense for Pistorius alleges that after he heard a noise from the bathroom he walked, without the aid of his prosthetic legs, to investigate. He was nervous, they said, because recent construction on Pistorius’ residence had left the bathroom window without security bars and contractors had left a ladder resting outside.

Feeling “vulnerable and fearful without his prosthetics,” Pistorius opened fire at the bathroom door, then broke it down with a cricket bat to discover Steenkamp fatally wounded inside, defense lawyers say.

You Might Also Like

He carried her downstairs, Pistorius added, and “she died in my arms.”

But prosecutors say there is no evidence supporting his claim.

“There is no possible information to support his version that it was a burglar,” Nel said, adding that, after the couple had argued, Steenkamp fled to the bathroom and Pistorius fired — into a room that was barely 16 square feet — with the intention of killing her.

“She couldn’t go anywhere. You can run nowhere. It must have been horrific,” Nel said.

Neither the defense or prosecution mentioned a bloodied cricket bat that was allegedly found in Pistorius’ apartment the night of the fatal shooting. While unconfirmed, the presence of the bat has been widely reported in South African media.

If convicted, Pistorius would face a mandatory life sentence, though he would be eligible for parole after 25 years according to South African law.

As the court went into a recess, a private funeral service for Steenkamp began in the South African coastal city of Port Elizabeth. More than 100 relatives and friends attended the funeral, according to the New York Times.

 

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>