South African Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius made his first court appearance on Friday since his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was fatally shot on Valentine’s Day. According to the New York Times, the disabled athlete broke down in tears as prosecutors announced that they would pursue a “premeditated murder” charge against him. Pistorius did not speak during the proceeding, but remained visibly distraught as he continuously wept with his hands over his face.
Following his court appearance, Pistorius’ agent released a statement on his website stating that the accused would dispute the alleged murder.
“Oscar Pistorius has appeared in court here in Pretoria this morning formally charged with the murder of Reeva Steenkamp,” the statement said. “The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms.”
The statement also extended sympathies to Steenkamp’s family.
“He has made it very clear that he would like to send his deepest sympathies to the family of Reeva. He would also like to express his thanks through us today for all the messages of support he has received – but as stated our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family – regardless of the circumstances of this terrible, terrible tragedy.”
Postponement of the bail hearing was requested and the case was adjourned until Tuesday. Pistorius is currently being held at a Pretoria police station where he will remain until his next court appearance. If the Paralympic all-star is convicted of the murder charge, he faces life in jail.
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