Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder for his role in the tragic death of model, Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius appeared in court Friday in Pretoria, South Africa when prosecutor Gerrie Nel announced they will pursue a premeditated murder charge, which means the athlete faces life in prison if found guilty. Pistorius, once a symbol of strength and inspiration, broke down and wept as he heard the charges against him.
In the early hours of Valentine’s Day, Pistorius claims he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar and shot and killed her. However, in the days following the incident, the media and prosecution have dug up Pistorius’ somewhat volatile record which may shed some light on if Pistorius was telling the truth, or if a violent outburst was what led to Steenkamp's death.
One of the first reports that surfaced, from South African newspaper Beeld, said that police were called to Pistorius’ residence two hours before the shooting when neighbors claimed to have heard a loud argument, supposedly between Pistorius and Steenkamp. Reports have also claimed the model was shot through a bathroom door.
In addition, previous incidents have surfaced that paint Pistorius as a lover of fast cars, cage fighting and firearms who has a record of multiple vehicle accidents. One accident involved Pistorius crashing a speedboat in 2009 while allegedly under the influence of alcohol, resulting in 180 stitches needed to sew up the sprinter’s injuries.
Another incident involved assault towards a woman Pistorius had thrown out of his house during a party he was hosting in 2009.
Chief Magistrate Desmond Nasir, who is ruling over Pistorius’ case as of now, has disallowed any photographs or video to be taken while court is in session, likely in an attempt to limit the barrage of media coverage and opinions surrounding the case.
Pistorius has not spoken to media as of yet, but his family and management issued a statement Friday, disputing the premeditated murder charge.
"The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms," the statement read.
The statement also expresses Pistorius’ sympathies for Steenkamp’s family.
"He would also like to express his thanks through us today for all the messages of support he has received — but as stated our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family — regardless of the circumstances of this terrible, terrible tragedy," the statement read.