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Oscar Pistorius charged

Oscar Pistorius was in jail Feb. 14 after he was charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend at his house, prosecutors said.

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Courtesy Chicago Tribune

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – A South African judge has granted bail to murder suspect Oscar Pistorius.

The Olympic athlete was in court again this morning for day four of his bail hearing. In making the decision, the judge said Pistorius is not a flight risk, and also cited a number of problems with the police investigation.

Pistorius is charged with one count of premeditated murder in relation to the Feb. 14 killing of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp inside his home.

Prosecutors claim Pistorius shot his girlfriend in cold blood, while his defense maintains he started shooting when he thought an intruder was in his home.

It could be four to six months before his trial begins.

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Courtesy of Fox News

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (CNN) — Sounds of arguing for an hour before the shooting. Blood stains on a cell phone and cricket bat. Boxes of testosterone and needles.

The shape of prosecutors’ case against Oscar Pistorius began to come into focus Wednesday as they argued the Olympian charged with killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, should be denied bail because he might disappear if released from jail.

But the Olympic sprinter’s defense team battled back, questioning the quality of the police investigation.

The bail hearing ended Wednesday with no decision. Final arguments are scheduled for Thursday morning.

Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder in the death of Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day. He has said he thought he was shooting at an intruder.

But police investigator Hilton Botha told the court Wednesday that Pistorius, 26, wasn’t acting in self-defense when he shot through the door of a toilet room in the bathroom of his home and killed Steenkamp.

Botha said he believes Pistorius knew Steenkamp was on the other side of the door. He didn’t explain why investigators think that, but suggested Pistorius was specifically aiming to hit the toilet where Steenkamp had gone.

For the complete CNN story, go here.

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Courtesy Chicago Tribune

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (CNN) — It was the middle of the night, Oscar Pistorius says, and he thought an intruder was in the house. Not wearing his prosthetic legs, feeling vulnerable in the pitch dark and too scared to turn on the lights, the track star pulled his 9mm pistol from beneath his bed, moved toward the bathroom and fired into the door.

It was only after he called to girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp – whom he thought had been in bed beside him after a quiet evening — that he realized something horrible might have happened, he told Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair in a statement read by his lawyer during his bond hearing Tuesday. Prosecutors dispute the version of events that Pistorius detailed in his statement.

Pistorius says he broke down the locked bathroom door — at one point in the statement saying he kicked the door in, at another saying he used a cricket bat to break it down — then scooped up the mortally wounded Steenkamp and carried her downstairs after for help.

“I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms,” he said in the statement. “I am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva.”

For the complete CNN story, go here.

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

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Courtesy Chicago Tribune

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (CNN) — Model Reeva Steenkamp was shot four times through the bathroom door at the home of Olympian Oscar Pistorius, a South African official familiar with the case told CNN on Monday.

She was alive after she was shot and was carried downstairs by Pistorius, said the official, who was not authorized to release details to the media.

A blood-stained cricket bat has also emerged as key evidence in the case, according to the City Press newspaper of Johannesburg.

Detectives are working to determine whether the bat was used to attack Steenkamp or she used it in self-defense, the newspaper reported, citing a source with inside knowledge of the case. Detectives are also looking into the possibility that Pistorius used the bat to break down the bathroom door.

The details are the latest to emerge in the shooting death that has roiled the nation and left South Africans asking what went so terribly wrong inside the upscale Pretoria home of the man nicknamed “Blade Runner” for his lightning-fast prosthetic legs.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were indications the 29-year-old model intended to stay the night at the house: She had an overnight bag and her iPad.

For the complete CNN story, go here.

runnerJOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee revered in South Africa for overcoming his disability to compete in the London Games last year, wept in court Friday as he faced a murder charge in connection with the fatal shooting of his girlfriend.

During the proceedings in Pretoria, Gerrie Nel, one of the National Prosecuting Authority’s most senior advocates, said he would argue the killing of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp was premeditated murder, the most serious category of offense under South African law.

Nel is known for prosecuting high-profile cases, including winning the conviction of former police chief and Interpol boss Jackie Selebi on corruption charges.

Pistorius, nicknamed the “Blade Runner” because of the carbon-fiber prosthetic legs he uses to compete, did not enter a formal plea and was remanded into custody at Brooklyn police station in Pretoria until Tuesday, when his bail application is to be heard.

 

Under South African law, a suspect charged with such a high-level offense would have to prove exceptional circumstances to be granted bail.

For the complete Los Angeles Times story, go here.

runnerJOHANNESBURG, South Africa – South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, who made history last year as the first double amputee runner to compete in the Olympics using prosthetic blades, will spend the night in jail Thursday after he was charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend at his house, prosecutors said.

The National Prosecuting Authority said Pistorius would remain in custody until his hearing Friday, when police intend to oppose bail.

Reeva Steenkamp, a 30-year-old model, died after being shot several times in the head and arm in Pistorius’ house in an upscale suburb in Pretoria.

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

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SOUTH AFRICA – A Nike ad built around a “I am a bullet in the chamber” premise on Oscar Pistorius’ official website has been removed after Pistorius’ arrest in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The “bullet in the chamber” reference is in regard to how quickly Pistorius leaves the starting blocks at the beginning of his races.

Also, Jon Sigurdsson, the chief executive of Ossur, the company that makes the blades that Pistorius used to compete, said Thursday, “It is completely premature to discuss or speculate on our business relationship with him.”

Pistorius, 26, was born without the fibula bone in both legs. He was known as the “Blade Runner” for his use of carbon fiber prosthetic blades. He was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400-meter semifinals in London 2012.

From LA Times

By Houston Mitchell

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