February 19, 2013
Pistorius Says He 'Had No Intention to Kill' Girlfriend
South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius says he had "no intention" of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, whom he is charged with murdering at his home last Thursday.
Pistorius spoke in an affidavit presented Tuesday during a bail hearing, soon after the presiding judge said he could not rule out Steenkamp's killing may have been premeditated.
The hearing ended with no decision on bail, and is due to resume Wednesday.
In the affidavit, read out by his lawyer, Pistorius said he thought he was shooting at a burglar when he fired shots through a bathroom door in his Pretoria home last Thursday, killing Steenkamp.
Pistorius said he was "deeply in love" with Steenkamp and was "absolutely mortified" at her death.
His defense argues the shooting was an accident, and he should be set free on bail.
Prosecutors offered a different account, saying Pistorius put on his prosthetic legs, walked seven meters across his bedroom and shot four times through the door.
The magistrate ruled that premeditation cannot be excluded, but that the charge could be downgraded later. Pre-meditated murder carries a possible lifetime prison sentence, and Pistorius broke down crying as the magistrate spoke.
Investigators have said Steenkamp was shot by a nine-millimeter pistol registered to Pistorius.
Her family held a private funeral Tuesday in Port Elizabeth while the hearing was taking place.
Pistorius is regarded as a sports hero and national icon in South Africa. He made history in August when he became the first double amputee to run at the Olympics.
He is known as the "blade runner" for competing on high-tech artificial legs.