Oscar Pistorius was indicted Monday on a charge of murdering his girlfriend, as prosecutors said witnesses heard a woman screaming, before the sound of the fatal gunshots fired by the double-amputee Olympian in the early morning hours of Valentine's Day. Oscar Pistorius was in court for the indictment, and openly cried before the proceedings began, according to MassLive on Aug. 19. He's set to stand trial on March 3, in a South African court in the capital of Pretoria.
The long-awaited indictment from the South African court yielded new details about how prosecutors will pursue their case against Pistorius. The alleged murder has drawn international interest due to Pistorius' celebrity status.
He overcame his disability to become a global phenomenon. The victim was his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who would have turned 30 on Monday. His prosthetic legs earned him the nickname "Blade Runner".
Pistorius, 26, appeared in the courtroom for Monday's indictment. He was seen crying and holding hands with his siblings before proceedings got underway.
Prosecutors allege Pistorius shot, "with the intention to kill a person", and a prosecution spokesman told reporters after the hearing that it was premeditated murder.
The prosecution intends to show the couple argued before Steenkamp was killed as part of its case that Oscar Pistorius intended to kill her.
"Some of the state witnesses heard a woman scream, followed by moments of silence, then heard gunshots and then more screaming", the prosecution said in the 11-page indictment.
Pistorius maintains he shot his girlfriend by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his upscale home in Pretoria. Prosecutors said Reeva Steenkamp died just after 3 a.m. on Feb. 14 due to multiple gunshot wounds, according to the autopsy.
It is the state's contention that the couple fought before Pistorius shot four times through a locked toilet cubicle door, hitting Steenkamp three times and killing her.
Pistorius' version of events is that he thought Steenkamp was in bed and he shouted at her to call the police, thinking there was a "dangerous intruder" in his bathroom, and that he didn't know it was her in the toilet cubicle.
At one point in the proceedings, the court magistrate asked Pistorius whether he was okay. Pistorius answered saying, "Under the circumstances, ja (yes)".
The case will be sent to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria for trial. A judge will ultimately determine the former Olympian's guilt or innocence, as South Africa does not have trial by jury.
Two key pieces of evidence are believed to be Pistorius' cell phone records from that night, as well as the bullet holes in the toilet cubicle door.
The bullet holes were a point of contention since the start, since the trajectory should show whether Pistorius was on his stumps as he says, or on his prosthetics as authorities believe.
The prosecution stance is that Pistorius knew Steenkamp, who had been sleeping in the same bed with him, was in the person in the bathroom. And that means he must have intended to kill her.
They allege the Paralympian took the time to put on his prosthetic legs, before going to the bathroom and firing the four shots through the closed bathroom door.
Pistorius maintains that he was not wearing his famous carbon-fiber blades when he fatally shot Steenkamp, according to ABC News.
There was no mention of either the cell phone records or the bullet holes in Monday's indictment, but sources point out that the prosecution need only provide a broad outline of their case at this time.
If convicted, Pistorius faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. There is no death penalty in South Africa.