Oscar Pistorius indicted on charge of premeditated murder

Oscar Pistorius was indicted on charges of premeditated murder on Monday. (USATSI)

South African runner Oscar Pistorius was indicted on charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition following the Valentine’s Day shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at the runner’s home. 

A court set a trial date for March 3 in Pretoria, South Africa, the Associated Press reported. 

Pistorius maintains that he shot Steenkamp on accident, believing that she was an intruder in his home. Prosecutors, however, say that the shooting followed an argument between the couple, and that they intend on using more than 100 witnesses for what will be a highly scrutinized case.

The double-amputee runner was seen crying in the courtroom with his siblings prior to the ruling, according to the AP.

The case will be sent to High Court in South Africa’s capital -- and will ultimately be decided by a judge, as South Africa doesn’t employ trial by jury. 

If the former Olympian is found guilty on charges of premeditated murder, Pistorius faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Police recently completed their six-month investigation into Steenkamp’s death, probing various phone records and focusing intensely on the bathroom cubicle where Pistorius fired four bullets.

Part of the investigation involved technology experts tasked with determining the trajectory of the shots into the bathroom. Pistorius maintains that he wasn’t standing on his prosthetic legs at the time, while the prosecution says otherwise -- a significant difference in their respective testimonies.   

A statement released by the South African police commissioner at the conclusion of the lengthy investigation suggests that they believe they have enough evidence to convict Pistorius. 

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