Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oscar Pistorius charged with murder; police cite previous incidents of a 'domestic nature'

The "Blade Runner," Oscar Pistorius, was charged on Thursday with murdering his girlfriend at his home in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius, as a double amputee, earned the nickname "Blade Runner" for racing on dual prosthetic legs.

Police said they had opened a murder investigation after a 30-year-old woman was found dead at the track star's house. Pistorius and his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, had been the only people in the house, located in the upmarket Silverlakes gated complex on the outskirts of the South African capital, at the time of the shooting.

Police brigadier Denise Beukes said:
At this stage he [Pistorius] is on his way to a district surgeon for medical examination.

When a person has been accused of a crime like murder they look at things like testing under the figure nails, taking a blood alcohol sample and all kinds of other test that are done. They are standard medical tests.
Pistorius is scheduled to appear in a Pretoria court after 1200 GMT.

Pistorius and his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, had been the only people in the house at the time of the shooting, Beukes, said, and witnesses had been interviewed about the incident, which happened in the early hours of the morning.

Steenkamp was a model and a regular on the South African party circuit. According to reports, she and Pistorius had been dating for a year. From a public standpoint, there was little to suggest trouble in their relationship.

However, Beukes said that authorities were aware of previous incidents at the house which she called of a "domestic nature." Pistorius was known to have kept an assortment of weapons in the home.

The Detroit Newsday site wrote, "In Oscar's bedroom lay one cricket bat and one baseball bat behind the door, a revolver by his bed and a machine gun by the window."

Earlier, it was reported that Pistorius may have mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder. Later, though, a police spokesperson was reported as saying that initial report was incorrect.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics on Aug. 4, 2012, Pistorius became the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games. In the first heat of the 400m race, he finished second place with a time of 45.44 seconds (which had been his best time of the season at that point), advancing to the semifinals which were held on Aug. 5, 2012. He ran in the second semifinal, where he finished eighth, which was last, with a time of 46.54 seconds.

Steenkamp's agent, Sarita Tomlinson said,
We are all devastated. Her family is in shock. They did have a good relationship. Nobody actually knows what happened.

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