Oscar Pistorius Defense: Reeva Steenkamp Death an Accident, Lawyer Claims

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Olympian Oscar Pistorius was formally charged with premeditated murder in a South African courtroom today, but his attorney vehemently contested the allegations.

According to prosecutors, Pistorius fired into the door of a small bathroom where his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was cowering after an argument.

Reeva Steenkamp, Oscar Pistorius

He allegedly shot her three times, killing the 30-year-old model on February 14.

"She couldn't go anywhere. You can run nowhere," prosecutor Gerrie Nel said.

As Pistorius wept in court, Nel said the couple had a fight and Reeva Steenkamp fled down the hall from the bedroom, and locked herself in the bathroom.

He said the 26-year-old double amputee got up from bed, put on his prosthetic legs, grabbed one of his guns and shot her through the bathroom door.

Nel told the court the door was broken open after the shots were fired, yet Pistorius' lawyer insists there is no evidence to substantiate a murder charge.

"Was it to kill her, or was it to get her out?" attorney Barry Roux asked the court, referring to the broken-down door. "We submit it is not even murder."

"There is no concession this is a murder."

Pistorius, who appeared grim and solemn at the start of the hearing, broke down and sobbed as his lawyer argued that he had mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.

Nel countered that the killing was premeditated because Pistorius planned to say he thought he was shooting an intruder, and told that story to his sister, Aimee.

"It was all part of the preplanning. Why would a burglar lock himself in the bathroom?" Nel said of the incident at Pistorius' heavily-guarded gated community.

There is also the issue of the bloody cricket bat, which was not directly addressed. Legal experts say it could take months for the murder case to be tried.

In an email to The Associated Press on Monday, Pistorius' longtime track coach, who was yet to comment, said he believes the killing was an accident.

"I pray that we can all, in time, come through this challenging situation following the accident and I am looking forward to the day I can get my boy back on the track," he said.

"I am still in shock following the heart-breaking events that occurred last week and my thoughts and prayers are with both of the families involved."

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