Created on: February 20, 2013
Oscar Pistorius is revered as a national hero in his homeland of South Africa. His story of perseverance in the face of incredible odds has been an inspiration to millions of people the world over. His iconic place in South African lore was shaken in the early morning hours of Valentine's Day when it was reported that his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp had been shot and killed in Pistorius's home in Pretoria, South Africa. What became more shocking was that police were charging the Olympic sprinter with murder in the case.
As a few days past, the charge went from murder to premeditated murder, something which would indicate that Pistorius had planned and set out to kill his girlfriend. What was not known was the reasoning that Pistorius had given for having shot Steenkamp. As his case for bail hearing commenced, police shed light on the alleged reason that he had given for the act.
Pistorius told the police that the whole incident was a terrible accident. He awoke in the middle of the night to find someone in the bedroom. In his account of the story, he grabbed his handgun and fired shots into the bathroom door because the supposed intruder had run into the bathroom and locked the door. It was a short time later that the sprinter realized that the person he shot was not an intruder, but rather his girlfriend, Steenkamp. Shocked, he made several calls and carried her body downstairs, where he attempted to revive her, but to no avail.
To say the police have a problem with his account of things would be an understatement. They claim to have a witness that says there was arguing between 2 and 3 AM in the morning in the home. They believe that Pistorius shot his girlfriend once in the bedroom, where she then fled to the bathroom. They say that he then attached his legs and fired three more shots, killing her for all intent and purposes. Blood was also found on a nearby cricket bat, which the police have not actually given reason for at this point.
Pistorius and his defense attorney disagree with the police interpretation of events. The question now becomes which side is wrong. Pistorius gave his account of what happened. Though the police do not believe it, their lead investigator testified in court that they have so far not been able to punch holes in any of the runner's story at this moment. Their key witness, who supposedly heard the argument, is now being placed four blocks away at the time he claimed to have heard it.
Does this mean that Pistorius will go free? Not at this point, as there are other things that still need to be explained. The police say that evidence shows that the shots fired into the door went in at a downward motion, much like someone standing and firing down at a target. This does not jive with Pistorius saying that he pulled out the gun and fired, without putting on his prosthetic legs. There is also the question of how Pistorius claims to have not known it was Steenkamp, when to fire the shots, he had to go around the bed where she had been sleeping. His holster was found on her side of the bed, so prosecutors believe he would have seen or felt that she was in bed.
There is also the question of needles and drugs found at the home, which the prosecution tried to intimate were steroids. In reality, the defense said they were herbal supplements and that this was just a glorified way of trying to tie the incident to possible roid rage. There has also been mention of an alleged text message from a male friend of Steenkamp that could have been motive, but that as yet has not been substantiated.
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