Oscar Pistorius was told he will face trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in March, appearing in court on what would have been Reeva’s 30th birthday.
An emotional Pistorius was formally indicted for premeditated murder at Pretoria Magistrates’ Court.
The 26-year-old Paralympian of South Africa is accused of shooting model Reeva Steenkamp at their home on the night of Valentine’s Day.
Pistoriua claims he started shooting and mistook Reeva for an intruder.
The judge set Oscar’s trial to run from March 3 to March 20 next year at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
The prosecution will have 107 witnesses, some of whom allegedly claim they heard a woman scream before gunshots and more screaming.
An hour after the hearing ended, Pistorius’ brother Carl tweeted a photograph of Oscar and Reeva posing together with the caption, “Remembered like yesterday. My life was impacted by u @reevasteenkamp & the lady u were! Always close to our hearts.”
Before the hearing, Oscar held hands with his brother Carl and sister Aimee as they silently prayed in media-filled courtroom.
If convicted, Pistorius faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison.
The indictment accuses Pistorius of murder, and unlawful possession of ammunition, contrary to Section 90 of the Firearms Control Act.
In a summary, prosecutors state Steenkamp locked herself in the toilet cubicle next to the main bedroom at Pistorius’ house in the early hours of February 14.
It claims the athlete grabbed his 9mm pistol and fired four shots through the locked door.
Some state witnesses heard a woman scream, followed by silence and then more gunshots and screaming.
Oscar Pistorius reportedly told a witness on the scene he thought she was intruder.
In a statement on his website in June, it stated “Oscar is not contemplating a formal return to athletics and his training is not aimed at preparing for competition.
“His focus at this time remains entirely on the court case. His family, and those close to him, have encouraged him to spend a few hours a week on the track to assist him in finding the necessary mental and emotional equilibrium to process his trauma and prepare for the trial.”
Reeva Steenkamp’s parents are still searching for answers.
In a television interview in June, June Steenkamp said, “‘There is only one person who knows what happened on the night her daughter was killed”.
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