Weeping Pistorius in court, faces life in prison if convicted in shooting


Associated Press

Posted on February 15, 2013 at 1:00 PM

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Family members of double-amputee track star Oscar Pistorius say they are disputing "in the strongest terms" the murder charge against him.

Pistorius wept in court today in South Africa as prosecutors said they will pursue a charge of premeditated murder in the death of his girlfriend. He entered no plea at the hearing. If convicted, Pistorious could face life in prison.

Police say investigators have completed an autopsy on the body of Reeva Steenkamp, the model who was shot to death at Pistorius' home yesterday.

Pistorius will be held in a police holding cell until his bail hearing on Wednesday, instead of being transferred to prison like most other suspects. Police have said they oppose Pistorius being freed on bail.

In today's statement, the family of Pistorius offers his "deepest sympathies" to the victim's family.

South Africa is riveted by the murder charges against the national sports hero who became known as the Blade Runner for the artificial legs on which he ran. One newspaper headline asked, "Blade Gunner?"

South Africa has one of the world's highest rates of shooting deaths, behind only Colombia.

%@AP Links

158-a-05-(Unidentified South African resident, in AP interview)-"way things happened"-This South African man says he's devastated by the charges against Oscar Pistorius. (15 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *158 (02/15/13)>> 00:05 "way things happened"

151-v-29-(Jon Belmont, AP correspondent)--Supporters have released a statement standing up for Olympic athlete and accused killer Oscar Pistorius. AP correspondent Jon Belmont reports. (15 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *151 (02/15/13)>> 00:29

140-c-19-(Jon Gambrell, AP correspondent)-"courtroom to hear"-AP correspondent Jon Gambrell reports Oscar Pistorius broke down in court as he was charged with murdering his girlfriend at his home. (15 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *140 (02/15/13)>> 00:19 "courtroom to hear"

APPHOTO XDF805: South African athlete Oscar Pistorius reacts, in court in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Feb 15, 2013, at his bail hearing in the murder case of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius was formally charged at Pretoria Magistrate's Court with one count of murder after his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a model and budding reality TV show participant, was shot multiple times and killed at Pistorius' upmarket home in the predawn hours of Thursday. (AP Photo/Antione de Ras - Independent Newspapers Ltd South Africa-Star) (15 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO XDF805 (02/15/13)>>