Accessibility links

Breaking News

Pistorius Says He 'Had No Intention to Kill' Girlfriend

South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius says he "had no intention to kill" his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius made the statement in an affidavit read Tuesday in a Pretoria court, soon after prosecutors accused him of premeditated murder.

In the statement, Pistorius said he thought he was shooting at a burglar when he fired shots through a bathroom door in his Pretoria home. He said he was "deeply in love" with Steenkamp and was "absolutely mortified" at her death.

The 26-year-old Pistorius is facing murder charges for the death of Steenkamp last Thursday.

His defense argues the shooting was an accident, and he should be set free on bail.

Prosecutors have offered a different account, saying Pistorius put on his prosthetic legs, walked seven meters across his bedroom and shot four times through a locked bathroom door.

A magistrate ruled during Tuesday's hearing that premeditation cannot be excluded, but that the charge could be downgraded later. Pre-meditated murder carries a possible life 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.