In the last week, we learned about the tragic shooting and death of model Reeva Steenkamp by her boyfriend and Olympic track star Oscar Pistorious. Steenkamp was a successful South African model and also was heading towards a legal career. Oddly enough, Steenkamp was starring in a South African reality show that actually made its’ scheduled air date this past weekend. Pistorious became internationally recognized during the Summer London 2012 Olympics. Pistorious has two prosthetic legs and became the first Paralympic track star to run in the Olympics. He became known as the “Blade Runner”.
Right now there are two conflicting stories about why Steenkamp was murdered. Pistorious and his defense team contend that the middle of the night shooting occurred because he believed that there was an intruder in the bathroom of his home, not his girlfriend, who he ended up shooting by accident. The prosecution contends however, that the murder was premeditated. The prosecution’s case relies on the fact that bullet trajectory evidence shows that Pistorious aimed at the toilet, alleging that Pistorious knew Steenkamp was on the toilet, and intended to shoot her.
The defense disputes that there was an attempt to aim at the toilet, and Pistorious says that he believes Steenkamp headed to the bathroom when he went to close the balcony door in their bedroom in the middle of the night, unknowing of the fact that Steenkamp had slipped out of bed to go to the bathroom.
There remains much left to unfold, and this story is sure to remain in the headlines. As of right now, Pistorious is trying to get out on bail. With a premeditated murder charge however, South African law requires “exceptional circumstances” to allow release of the runner. We will learn in the next day or so whether the court feels his evidence meets that threshold.
What do you think is the most important aspect of this case? How do you think the bail hearing will play out?
Photo: NY Daily News