So much for me hoping this was all a big accident. This morning a judge upgraded the charge against Oscar Pistorius to premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.  Report after the jump…



According to Robyn Curnow and Holly Yan at CNN:

In an emotionally wrenching hearing Tuesday, a judge upgraded the charge against Oscar Pistorius to premeditated murder, saying he could not rule out the possibility that the track star planned the shooting death of girlfriend.

But the judge said he will consider downgrading the charge later.

Pistorius had been charged with murder for the Valentine’s Day shooting of Reeva Steenkamp, and the hearing Tuesday was to determine whether he should be allowed to post bail.

But prosecutors had said they would try to get the charge upgraded. And throughout the proceeding, they hammered away at the possibility that Steenkamp’s killing was premeditated. The defense countered by contending Pistorius thought his girlfriend was an intruder.

With the new charge, Pistorius’ case for bail may prove much more difficult. The defense must now try to argue that “exceptional circumstances” exist that would justify bail.

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Via NBCNews:

In a statement read to a court hearing, the double-amputee Olympic and Paralympic star wrote that he loved Steenkamp “deeply.” He also said he had received death threats in the past and kept a firearm beside his bed.

The statement denied Pistorius had deliberately killed Steenkamp “in the strongest terms,” adding that athlete was “deeply in love” with her, according to Reuters.

“I had no intention to kill my girlfriend,” the statement said.

“I heard a noise in my bathroom … I felt a sense of terror… I believed that someone had entered my house… I grabbed my 9mm pistol,” it said.

“As I did not have my prosthetic legs on I felt extremely vulnerable. I had to protect Reeva and myself… I had limited mobility on my stumps,” it said.

Pistorius’ statement said that moments after the shooting he “picked Reeva up as I’d been told not to wait for the paramedics … She died in my arms.”

Earlier in the hearing, Nel said Steenkamp had arrived in Pistorius’ home sometime between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the night before she died.

There was “no possible explanation to support” Pistorius’ claim that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder, Nel said.

And he added that even if Steenkamp had been an intruder, the shooting would still have been the murder of a burglar.

Nel said Pistorius had armed himself, put on his prosthetic legs, walked to the bathroom and shot Steenkamp several times through the locked door as she sat on the toilet. “She locked that door for a purpose,” Nel said.

“If I arm myself, walk a distance and murder a person, that is premeditated,” he said, according to Reuters. “The door is closed. There is no doubt. I walk seven meters (just over 22 feet) and I kill.”

“The motive is ‘I want to kill’. That’s it,” he added. “This deceased was in a 1.4- (4.5 feet) by 1.14-meter little room. She could go nowhere. It must have been horrific.”

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