Oscar Pistorius trial starts Monday; key information
Oscar Pistorius will go on trial beginning Monday, charged with murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013.
Pistorius, the first double amputee to run at the Summer Olympics when he competed in London, said he unknowingly shot and killed Steenkamp, who was with Pistorius at his Pretoria, South Africa, home that overnight.
Pistorius shot four times through a bathroom door, hitting Steenkamp three times with bullets from his licensed 9mm Parabellum pistol. His defense was that he thought the person in the bathroom was an intruder and that Steenkamp was in bed.
When and where is the trial?
The trial begins at 3 a.m. ET on Monday at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria with the full trial period set for March 3-20, though it won’t necessarily end March 20. The schedule (subject to change by the judge) calls for court proceedings to run from 3-4:15 a.m., 4:30-6 a.m. and 7-9 a.m. ET.
As many as 107 witnesses could be called based on this indictment from August.
How can I follow the trial?
South African media outlets were granted permission Tuesday to broadcast live video of parts of the trial, not including Pistorius’ potential testimony. The broadcasts also can be made available to international stations, according to The Associated Press.
A live audio feed will be allowed for the whole of the trial. Links to live audio were made available at Pistorius’ court appearances last year. (Update: South African media outlet Eyewitness News has an audio live stream link here)
What are the potential outcomes?
Pistorius, 27, was indicted on a charge of premeditated murder in August. If convicted of premeditated murder, he faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison. There is no death penalty in South Africa.
If not premeditated murder, he could be convicted of lesser charges such as culpable homicide (negligent killing) with shorter prison sentences.
A judge will determine Pistorius’ guilt or innocence. There is no trial by jury in South Africa.