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Oscar Pistorius to be indicted on premeditated murder charge

August 16, 2013|By David Wharton
  • South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius appears at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria on June 4.
South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius appears at the Magistrate… (Alexander Joe / Associated…)

Prosecutors have decided to charge Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter known as "The Blade Runner," with premeditated murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Pistorius will be indicted on Monday and should go on trial early next year, officials in South Africa told the Associated Press.

His attorneys declined to comment but said they expect to receive a copy of the indictment and related papers before next week's proceedings at Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

The shooting occurred in Pistorius' home during the early morning hours of Valentine's Day. The athlete has said that he mistook his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, for an intruder, firing several shots through a closed door into the toilet cubicle in his bathroom.

The indictment will take place on a day when Steenkamp would have celebrated her 30th birthday.

Sports fans know Pistorius as a disabled athlete who has broken barriers with the carbon-fiber running prosthetics that give him his nickname. He represented South Africa at the 2012 London Olympics.

His good looks and popularity have fueled interest in the case.

Monday's court appearance could include the announcement of additional charges, officials said. South African media reported Friday that Pistorius will be held accountable for allegedly recklessly discharging a firearm in two other incidents.

The murder charge carries a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years.

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