Oscar Pistorius "sobbed uncontrollably" at a South African court hearing on Friday morning as prosecutors made clear their intention to claim the track superstar killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in a premeditated murder.
According to numerous news outlets, Pistorius, who could spend the rest of his life in prison, wept and shook visibly for much of his appearance in a Pretoria magistrates court, where chief magistrate Desmond Nair postponed until Tuesday the process that will decide what charges the 26-year-old will face. That means Pistorius will spend the weekend behind bars, although he will be kept – at his own request – at a Brooklyn police station in Pretoria rather than a local prison as would be the norm in murder cases.
On Tuesday, arguments will be heard as to the severity of the murder charge he will face, as well as submissions regarding his application for bail.
The Associated Press reported that Pistorius' family and management released a statement Friday from London that said, "The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms." The statement went on to say that Pistorius "would like to send his deepest sympathies to the family of Reeva."
Numerous eyewitnesses at the court told how Pistorius was unable to control his emotions even before the proceedings began and he had to be consoled by his father Henke and brother Carl while deliberations took place.
"He broke down several times," South African journalist Barry Bateman said in a report to a Cape Town radio station. "He couldn't control his emotions. Most of the time had his head down. You could see him clench his jaw. He would collapse into his hands sobbing and it was audible, he was gasping. When he fell down his father would lean forward and put his hand on his back."
The shooting of Steenkamp in the early hours of Thursday morning has caused a media frenzy in South Africa, with Friday morning's Beeld newspaper claiming that the aspiring television personality and model had been shot through the bathroom door of Pistorius' luxury home in the Silver Lakes gated complex, and that police and security had been called to the property earlier in the evening following a disturbance.
I guess they weren't buying the intruder story...