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Oscar Pistorius enters not guilty plea as murder trial begins

By Evan Hilbert |

Oscar Pistorius stands accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Oscar Pistorius stands accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. (Getty Images)

The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius began Monday in Pretoria, South Africa, with the former Olympic sprinter entering a plea of not guilty.

Pistorius, 27, stands accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in his home last year. He contends he mistook her for a burglar and that, therefore, the shooting of Steenkamp was accidental.

Steenkamp's mother, June, is in attendance, and, according to reports, looking "morose." This is the first time she has faced Pistorius in court.

For his part, Pistorius has been taking notes throughout the proceedings.

According to CNN, Pistorius faces a charge of premeditated murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence and minimum 25 years in prison. If he's acquitted of premeditated murder he would still face a "culpable homicide" charge, which carries a sentence up to 15 years.

He faces several weapons charges, as well.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

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