A South African judge set a bail of 1 million rand or $113,000 today (Friday) for Olympic hero Oscar Pistorious who has been charged with shooting his girlfriend to death, according to CNN which covered the hearing live. Pistorious, who is nicknamed the “Blade Runner” because he is a double amputee has been admired in South Africa and around the world for overcoming his handicap in the world of track.
He will have to pay $11,300 in cash up front. Other conditions of his bail are that he can’t live in his upscale home which is the crime scene, and he can’t leave the district of Pretoria, South Africa without his probation officer’s permission.
The next hearing in his case is set for June 4.
Since South Africa does not have a jury system, the judge will make all the decisions in the case including whether or not he is guilty.
Defense attorney Barry Roux was able to convince Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair to set a bond at the end of a four-day bond hearing because he took the calculated risk of having his client submit a written affidavit as to his version of what happened on the day of the alleged murder. The killing of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp occurred during the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day, 2013.
Pistorius, 26, in his affidavit said he thought he heard an intruder hiding on a toilet inside the bathroom of his home. Because he didn’t have his artificial legs on, he was moving on his stumps. He said he screamed for Steenkamp, 29, to call the police. He thought she was still in bed with him. When he entered the bathroom, he saw the window was open and believed the intruder was hiding in the stall. In a fit of terror he fired four times through the stall door, believing it was the intruder. It was only when Steenkamp didn’t respond to his screams that he realized it might be her in the toilet stall.
According to Pistorius version, he returned to the bedroom and attached his artificial legs when he saw she wasn’t in the bed. He then returned to the bathroom where discovered his girlfriend was dying. He attempted to save her, but was unable to do so.
Pistorious’ attorney Roux argued to the judge it was not murder but a mistake.
The prosecution charged the bladerunner with pre-meditated murder. The judge could find him guilty of that or the lesser offense of culpable murder which is similar to negligent homicide in the United States. If found guilty of the lesser offense he could receive as little as two or three years in prison.
If the judge finds it was a mistake he would find Pistorious not guilty and the Blade Runner would walk out the courthouse doors a free man.
Pistorius is staying at his uncle’s home pending the trial.
Pistorius, whose legs lacked fibulae at birth were amputated when he was 11 months old, according to People Magazine.
Steenkamp tweeted on Valentine’s Day that it “should be a day of love for everyone.”
She was already a successful model and ranked one of the world’s 150 most beautiful women, according to a South African publication. Her celebrity increased as she appeared on a South African reality show which was aired on television in honor of her after her death.
The Blade Runner excited people worldwide last summer with his performance on J-shaped prostheses at the London Olympics.
A lawyer friend who rushed to the house after receiving a call from Pistorius, informed police she found him carrying Steenkamp down a flight of stairs. Working together, they tried to stop her profuse bleeding.
Pistorius shot his girlfriend with a 9 -mm handgun.
The prosecution now has the advantage of knowing the Blade Runner’s entire story before trial and will be able to prepare accordingly.
The defense has the advantage of having their client out of jail which makes trial preparation easier.
Pretoria, South Africa is a violent city with home invasions common, according to Geraldo Rivera on Fox News last night.
Anyone interested in receiving free updates of National Places and Faces articles should click on the subscribe link above this article. My readers may also follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google.