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Oscar Pistorius Says He Mistook Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp for an Intruder

At a bail hearing this morning, Olympic and Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius disputed prosecutors’ claims that the shooting death of his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was premeditated murder. Pistorius said that he shot Steenkamp three times through a bathroom door after mistaking her for a robber. He apparently believed that a burglar had come through the window while he was outside on a terrace.

A statement from Pistorius reads, “I am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva.”

Is a jury likely to believe Pistorius’ claims?

During an appearance on America’s Newsroom, Lewis Gainor, a defense attorney, pointed out that South Africa has a serious problem with violent crime, and that Pistorius had already taken precautions to avoid danger, including living in a gated community, installing a barbed wire fence around his house, and arming himself.

Gainor said, “If he made the mistake that he thought it was an intruder, the question is did he act reasonably. Did he find out where she was at the time to ascertain if she would be safe if he opened fire?”

Fox News legal analyst Tamara Holder argued that it’s hard to argue a case of mistaken identity, given the number of times Pistorius fired his gun. “Remember, it wasn’t just one shot through the door, it was four or three. It was more than one. And after one shot, that could be the reason why they are now charging him with premeditated [murder].”

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