- The Washington Times - Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympian gold medalist dubbed the Blade Runner, pleaded not guilty Monday during the opening phase of his murder trial.

He’s accused of murdering his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in an early morning Feb. 14, 2013, shooting in his South African home. Mr. Pistorius pleaded not guilty to all four charges, ABC reported: Murder, two charges related to public discharge of firearm, and one charge of illegal possession of ammunition.

Mr. Pistorius has maintained — both during his arrest and in court — that he shot Ms. Steenkamp because he thought she was an intruder.

“I was fearful,” his statement to the court read, ABC reported.

Present at the trial was Ms. Steenkamp’s mother, June Steenkamp, who said she attended the hearing so she could “really look him in the eyes,” ABC reported.

Mr. Pistorius, 27, could face 25 years behind bars if the prosecution’s charge of premeditated murder sticks.