Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic and Paralympic star also known as Blade Runner, openly cried in court this morning after the prosecution read that his murder charge would be upgraded to premeditated murder.
The 26-year old was originally charged with the murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot to death in the early hours of Valentine’s Day at his home. Original reports said that Pistorius shot Steenkamp mistakenly after she entered his home late at night as a Valentine’s surprise, and that he had been collecting an arsenal of weapons due to fears of the high crime and home-invasion rate in his native South Africa.
Pistorius and his counsel issued a statement this morning, saying, “The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms.
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.”
It was also reported yesterday that there have been “previous incidents” of a domestic nature at the Pistorius home which required a police presence, but officials haven’t given details as to what they might have been. Since the news broke of Steenkamp’s death, many who know the double-amputee have taken to social media forums to voice their opinions of him.
“I’m so glad Sammy is safe and out of the clutches of that man,” Trish Taylor wrote on Facebook. Her daughter, Samantha, dated Pistorius. But others have come to his defense, claiming he never displayed violent tendencies.
“All I am saying is let him speak, let his side be heard without jumping to conclusions,” ex-girlfriend Jenna Edkins wrote on Twitter. “I have dated Oscar on and off for 5 YEARS, NOT ONCE has he EVER lifted a finger to me or made me fear for my life.”