Oscar Pistorius to appear in court Tuesday, set to represent himself

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

Oscar Pistorius will appear in a South African court Tuesday for a pretrial hearing in the murder case of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

According to the Associated Press, Pistorius plans to represent himself in a trial that could result in a life sentence for the former Olympian.

Pistorius plans to argue self-defense, though South African legal experts insist he's fighting an uphill battle.

"The fact that he has admitted that he has killed her by pulling the trigger means the state has a prima facie case and it is expected of the accused to come and convince the court otherwise," Marius du Toit, a former prosecutor, magistrate and now defense attorney with over 20 years' experience in South Africa's justice system told the AP. "His version is going to be exposed and scrutinized in the finest, finest detail."

Others believe his claim of self-defense does not properly align with the facts of the case.

"I do not see how Oscar Pistorius could have concluded that a closed door constitutes danger to such an extent that his life is in danger, bearing in mind that he had gone into that situation," South African leading firearm lawyer, Martin Hood, told the AP. "So, it begs the question, why did he go looking for trouble?"

On Sunday, the Pistorius family released a statement supporting the double amputee after photographs from the crime scene were leaked.

The statement read, in part: “We believe in him, love him, and will support him every step of the way in what lies ahead.”

No trial date has been announced.

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