Oscar Pistorius, the South African gold-medal winning Paralympian, denied he planned the murder of his girlfriend, saying he shot her through a locked bathroom door thinking she was a burglar.
Bloomberg reports that Magistrate Desmond Nair stopped proceedings in a Pretoria court as Pistorius sobbed inconsolably when his lawyer read a statement of his account of the incident. Prosecutors accuse Pistorius of premeditated murder, arguing he put on his prosthetic legs, walked 20 feet and shot Reeva Steenkamp, 29, three times at his home on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.
'I felt extremely vulnerable as I felt I had to protect Reeva and myself', Pistorius said in the statement, denying that he was wearing his prosthetics when he shot at the door.
Pistorius, dubbed the 'Blade Runner' because of his double leg amputation and prosthetic running blades, put his track and field career indefinitely on hold, canceling scheduled appearances in Australia, Brazil, the U.S. and the U.K. during the next 14 weeks, his manager Peet Van Zyl said on February 17th. This is to allow Pistorius to focus on the court case, he said.
'It was pre-planned up to the time that he shot her', prosecutor Gerrie Nel, who in 2010 won the corruption conviction of former police chief Jackie Selebi, said in a packed courtroom in the capital. 'The motive is he went to kill and that’s clear. He walked to the bathroom and he shot. That’s it'.
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