The fourth and likely final day of the bail hearing for Oscar Pistorius, the Olympian accused of murdering his girlfriend Feb. 14, opened with arguments from the prosecution that the runner's version of events is improbable and the defense countering that Pistorius had no intent to kill the woman.
Pistorius, who gained global acclaim for racing at the 2012 London Olympics, shot his model-girlfriend through a closed bathroom. He says he killed Reeva Steenkamp accidentally, but prosecutors allege that he took a moment to put on his prosthetic legs, indicating that he thought out and planned to kill Steenkamp when he shot her three times through the bathroom door.
Pistorius sobbed today in court. Barry Roux, his defense attorney, said the prosecution has misinterpreted the assigning of intent, meaning that the runner's intent to shoot at a supposed intruder in his home cannot be transferred to someone else who was shot -- in this case, Steenkamp.
"He did not want to kill Reeva," Roux told the court.
When Magistrate Desmond Nair, who has been overhearing the bail hearing, asked Roux what the charges should be if Pistorius intended to kill an intruder, the defense attorney responded that he should be charged with culpable homicide.
Culpable homicide is defined in South Africa as "the unlawful negligent killing of a human being."
Roux also made light of the prosecution's argument that Pistorius is a flight risk, saying that every time the double-amputee goes through airport security, it causes a commotion. He said that Pistorius' legs need constant maintenance and he needs medical attention for his stumps.
The prosecution argued today that the onus is on Pistorius to provide his version of events, and his version is improbable.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel also spoke of Pistorius' fame and his disability, even relating him to Wikipedia founder Julian Assange, who is now confined to Ecuador's London Embassy, where he has been granted political asylum. "[Assange's] facial features are as well known as Mr. Pistorius' prostheses," Nel said.
Nel argued that Pistorius' prostheses do not set him apart, stating that it's no different to any other feature, and the court cannot be seen to treat people with disabilities accused of a crime, or famous people accused of crime, any differently.
Pistorius has said that in the early hours of Feb. 14 he was closing his balcony doors when he heard a noise from the bathroom. Fearing an intruder, and without his prosthetic legs on, he grabbed a gun from under his bed and fired through the closed bathroom door, he told the court.
But prosecutors say that's implausible, that the gun's holster was found under the side of the bed where Steenkamp slept, and that Pistorius would have seen she wasn't there. Prosecutors also say the angle at which the shots were fired shows Pistorius was already wearing his prosthetics when he fired.
Meanwhile, Lt. General Vinesh Moonoo was named Thursday the new chief investigator to the murder case after the surprise revelation that the former head detective and the prosecution's key witness, Hilton Botha, was charged with seven counts of attempted murder in connection to a 2011 shooting. The charges against Botha amount to an significant oversight by the state, which could sway the court's opinion.
Prosecutors maintain that Pistorius was out to kill on the night of Valentine's Day, prompting him to fire four shots into the locked bathroom door that Steenkamp was behind.
Friends of the couple say they were happy, and there is no reason why Pistorius would intentionally hurt Steenkamp.
"If Oscar was to ask her to get married, she would have said yes," friend Kevin Lerena said. "That's how happy and joyful their relationship was."
Ampie Louw, Pistorius' trainer, spoke with reporters outside the courthouse today, saying that he hopes Pistorius gets bail and can start training again, but that he won't push it.
"I'm not the legal side of it. But I'm ready," he said. "We can start training Monday if he's out."