Pistorius: Lover caught in tragedy or killer?

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Associated Press

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 19 at 11:30 PM

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A South African judge says defense lawyers will need to offer "exceptional" reasons to convince him to grant bail for Oscar Pistorius, when a hearing resumes Wednesday.

In a statement to the court, Pistorius acknowledged firing the shots that killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, before dawn on Valentine's Day. But the double amputee Olympian says he grabbed his pistol, fearing someone had broken into his Pretoria home.

Pistorius wept uncontrollably as he listened to his attorney read his statement to the court on the first day of the two-day bail hearing. Pistorius said he awoke before dawn and was on his balcony when he heard a noise and became alarmed because the bathroom window, which had no security bars, was open and workers had left ladders nearby.

Pistorius says he had been a victim of crime before, and the noise filled him "with horror and fear."

Prosecutors say Pistorius' claim is not credible and that he intended to kill Steenkamp. They say the couple had argued and the 29-year-old model was trapped in the bathroom with no escape when Pistorius shot her.

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GRAPHICSBANK: Oscar Pistorius, South African double-amputee sprinter, stands following his bail hearing, Pretoria, South Africa, graphic element on white (19 Feb 2013)

APPHOTO XDF107: Olympian Oscar Pistorius, foreground, stands following his bail hearing, as his brother Carl, left, and father Henke, second from left, look on in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Pistorius fired into the door of a small bathroom where his girlfriend was cowering after a shouting match on Valentine's Day, hitting her three times, a South African prosecutor said Tuesday as he charged the sports icon with premeditated murder. The magistrate ruled that Pistorius faces the harshest bail requirements available in South African law. (AP Photo) (19 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO XDF107 (02/19/13)>>

APPHOTO ASVZ115: A woman holds a photo of Reeva Steenkamp, as she leaves her funeral in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp on Valentine's Day. The defense lawyer says it was an accidental shooting. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam) (19 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO ASVZ115 (02/19/13)>>

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