Feb 15, 2013, 8:32 AM EDT
Inspiring Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius broke down in court Friday morning in Pretoria, South Africa after being accused of the “premeditated” murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, and being formally charged.
Pistorius, who denies the allegations in the “strongest terms” according to a statement released Friday, kept his head down and cried as the hearing started, and is reported as having looked confused. Pistorius’s lawyer referred to his client as being in a “traumatised state of mind.”
“Take it easy,” Magistrate Desmond Nair reportedly told him. “Come take a seat.”
The usually affable Pistorius, known as “Blade Runner” because of the carbon fiber prosthetics he races on, didn’t speak during the entire forty-minute proceeding. His father and brother sat right behind him in court.
There are few details about what actually happened Thursday, but it’s known that Pistorius and Steenkamp were the only two in the house, and an Afrikaans-language Beeld newspaper, reported that Pistorius had shot his girlfriend four times through the bathroom door. Earlier reports that he assumed she was an intruder have been disputed by local law enforcement, and neighbors reported hearing noises before the shots were fired.
The hearing was adjourned until February 19. Pistorius will remain in custody until then.
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