Oscar Pistorius bail hearing delayed until Tuesday

The AP reports that the Olympic "blade runner" disputes he murdered his girlfriend "in the strongest terms"

By Prachi Gupta

Published February 15, 2013 2:05PM (EST)

Athlete Oscar Pistorius, known around the world as the "Blade Runner" for becoming the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics, shocked the world yesterday when he was charged for the murder of his girlfriend, South African model Reeva Steenkamp, who died at his home early morning on Valentine's Day. But a Pretoria judge has delayed Pistorius' bail hearing, originally scheduled for Friday, to Tuesday as the troubled athlete repeatedly lost his composure in court.

Reports the Guardian:

The South African athlete...repeatedly pressed his fingers to his eyes and looked down, sobbing and shaking, in an hour-long hearing in a packed courtroom in Pretoria.

The magistrate delayed Pistorius's bail hearing until Tuesday and ruled that the 26-year-old would be held at a Pretoria police station until then, despite a likely perception of "preferential treatment", since it would be more common for the accused to be detained in prison.

The prosecution plans to pursue a charge of premeditated murder against the athlete. The AP reports, however, that Pistorius disputes that he murdered his girlfriend "in the strongest terms." Earlier, local media speculated that Pistorius, a known gun enthusiast, shot at Steenkamp thinking she might be a burglar.

Steenkamp was an "FHM" cover girl, law school graduate and women's rights advocate who yesterday had plans to give a motivational speech to high schoolers in Johannesburg about love. "She was definitely destined for success," said her publicist.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Blade Runner Murder Olympian Oscar Pistorius Reeva Steenkamp South Africa Valentines Day