World

'Blade Runner' Pistorius In Tears As Murder Charge Is Filed

NPR | Feb. 15, 2013 6:32 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

South African Paralympic and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius as he wept today while being charged with murder.

South African Paralympic and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius as he wept today while being charged with murder.

EPA /LANDOV, Antoine De Ras

“South African ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius broke down in tears on Friday after he was charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend in his Pretoria house,” Reuters reports from Pretoria.

According to the wire service: “The 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic superstar stood with head bowed in front of magistrate Desmond Nair to hear the murder charge read out, then started sobbing, covering his face with his hands.”

South Africa’s News 24 reports that a “teary-eyed” Pistorius, “with jaws clenched … heard the state intended pursuing a case of premeditated murder against him.”

When the hearing ended, writes the Los Angeles Times, “Pistorius was remanded in custody at Brooklyn police station in Pretoria until Tuesday when his bail application will be heard. Under South African law, an accused person charged with such a high-level offense would have to prove exceptional circumstances to be granted bail.”

Pistorius’ agent, Reuters adds, says the sprinter disputes the murder charge “in the strongest possible terms.”

As we reported, police were called to Pistorius’ home on Thursday. There, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp had been shot four times. According to NPR’s Gregory Warner, authorities say it looks like she was shot “through a bathroom door.”

Pistorius is a double amputee whose athletic accomplishments have inspired people around the world. He was born without fibula bones below his knees, and his parents chose to have his legs amputated below the knees when he was an infant. He’s known as the “blade runner” because of the carbon-fiber prosthetic legs he uses. Last summer in London, he became the first double amputee to participate in an Olympics.

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