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Oscar Pistorius indicted on murder charge; witnesses heard 'woman scream'

August 19, 2013|Erin Conway-Smith

PRETORIA, South Africa – Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee Olympic sprinter known as the Blade Runner, was indicted Monday on a charge of premeditated murder in the Valentine’s Day killing of his girlfriend. The trial was set for March 3-20.

Pistorius, 26, is accused of shooting to death Reeva Steenkamp, a model and reality TV star, at his home on a luxury estate near Pretoria. He wept and prayed with brother Carl and sister Aimee during a brief appearance at Pretoria Magistrate's Court on what would have been Steenkamp's 30th birthday.

The indictment handed to Pistorius states that he "did unlawfully and intentionally kill" Steenkamp at his home on Feb. 14, shortly after 3 a.m. He was also formally charged with illegal possession of ammunition.

Prosecutors have listed 107 witnesses they may call against Pistorius, including one of his ex-girlfriends, neighbors and friends of Steenkamp.

"Some of the state witnesses heard a woman scream, followed by moments of silence, then heard gunshots and then more screaming," the indictment says.

Prosecutors allege that Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the door of a bathroom toilet cubicle, where she had gone to hide following an argument. Pistorius has admitted to shooting Steenkamp, but says he mistook her for an intruder.

The Paralympic champion will remain free on bail pending the trial, which will be transferred to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Outside the courtroom, Steenkamp’s friends issued a statement saying, "Not a day has gone by when anyone who ever came into contact with Reeva Steenkamp hasn't thought about her.”

"Now, more than ever, Reeva's memory lives on,” the statement said.


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Conway-Smith is a special correspondent.

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