Bloomberg News

Pistorius Argued With Girlfriend Before Shots: Prosecutor

February 20, 2013

Oscar Pistorius, the South African gold-medal winning Paralympian, argued with his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, before he shot her dead, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said.

A composed Pistorius, 26, lowered his face as a police investigator contested his affidavit that he thought Steenkamp was a burglar when he fired four shots at her in the bathroom of his Pretoria home on Feb. 14. Pistorius and Steenkamp, 29, argued between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. that morning, Nel said in court today, citing a witness. The shots fired by Pistorius couldn’t have hit Steenkamp where she was sitting if he had been shooting through the toilet door, Nel said.

South African magistrate Desmond Nair heard a second day of evidence in Pistorius’s bail hearing before a trial for premeditated murder. Pistorius, dubbed the ‘‘Blade Runner’’ because of his double leg amputation and prosthetic running blades, faces a maximum term of life in prison if found guilty of the charge, according to Nair. The defense will have to prove “exceptional circumstances” to get bail under the current charge, Nair said yesterday. The prosecution will add a charge of possession of unlicensed ammunition, Nel said.

“If you walk in directly and fire at the door, you miss the toilet,” Nel said.

Pistorius said in an affidavit read out in court yesterday he feared for his life when he heard noises coming from the bathroom in the early hours of the morning on Feb. 14, thinking a burglar had climbed through an open window. He shot through the door before realizing it could have been Steenkamp, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andres R. Martinez in Johannesburg at amartinez28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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