The bail hearing of Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic athlete who overcame a double amputation procedure to compete in the London Olympics was a court room filled with controversy, anger, and tears. Pistorius is accused by prosecution of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp within their South African home on Valentine’s Day, but the defense argues the shooting was meant to scare off a burglar.
The couple became a celebrity power couple in South Africa due to Pistorius’ accomplishment at the Olympics and Steenkamp’s supermodel status. Pistorius gathered a loyal following of fans for his performance in the London Olympics, which was highly commended by sports enthusiasts, Olympic pundits, and gamblers who bet on Pistorius at sportsbetting and online casino sites. Steenkamp became renowned for her status as a model and as a spokesperson against domestic violence and the rape of women. She also debuted in the ‘Tropika Island of Treasure’ reality TV show two days following her death, which her family insisted the network allow to air.
The tragic shooting on Valentine’s Day has shocked the community, and attracted the attention of the entire world. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel charges Pistorius with the shooting of Steenkamp following a heated argument the morning of Valentine’s Day. The prosecution says Steenkamp was struck three times by Pistorius, and locked herself in the bathroom. Pistorius then put on his prosthetic legs, walked down the hallway to the bathroom, and fired shots through the door – after which the door was broken open to get to Steenkamp’s body.
The defense counters that Pistorius shot Steenkamp unaware that she wasn’t in the bed, and was afraid that there was a burglar locked in the bathroom. Defense Attorney Barry Roux says when Pistorius realized what had happened, he busted open the door with a cricket bat. He then carried Steenkamp downstairs hoping to get her to a hospital, but unfortunately she died in his arms.
Nel says the killing was premeditated due to conversations with his sister where he said he thought he was shooting at an intruder, and thus a murder charge is sufficient.
“It was all part of the preplanning. Why would a burglar lock himself inside the bathroom?”
Pistorius appeared remorseful in the court room, quietly sobbing into his hands while his attorney defended his actions. Steenkamp’s family was also at the trial, most of whom were too devastated to speak, and later, outside the courtroom were hysterically crying “why did this happen? Why did he do this?” Reeva was later cremated at a ceremony attended by supporters from around the world.
Lawyers say the case is expected to last for several months, but the Steenkamp family along with the prosecution, insist that Pistorius remain locked in jail throughout the trial.