Famed Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius appears in a South African court today seeking bail after being accused of murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day. We are live blogging the appearance. Read the full story
[Updated at 7:55 a.m. ET] The Pistorius hearing has adjourned. The prosecutor said he needs time to process the affidavits filed today. Court will reconvene at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Pistorius will spend the night in a local jail.
[Updated at 7:40 a.m. ET] The defense is reading a statement from Steenkamp's friend Samantha Grevenstein that describes Pistorius as humble and the epitome of a true gentleman. Grevenstein said Steenkamp told her that she loved Pistorius and would have likely married him if he'd have asked.
[Updated at 7:24 a.m. ET] In the affidavit, Pistorius says he awoke to sounds in the bathroom and a sense of terror overwhelmed him. He said felt vulnerable because he did not have his legs on. He said he called for Steenkamp to call police but she did not respond in the pitch darkness.
In hindsight, it's clear she went to the toilet, he said.
He said he is not a flight risk and will face the charges brought against him.
[Updated at 7:09 a.m. ET] The magistrate tells Pistorius that he needs to calm down and pull himself together and there cannot continue to be adjournments to allow him to do so. Pistorius is given a few minutes to speak to his family.
[Updated at 6:54 a.m. ET] Pistorius' lawyer reads from the athlete's affadavit: "I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend." Pistorius chokes up as the statement is read.
[Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET] The hearing has resumed. Pistorius sits calmly, holding a white hanky, and listens to his lawyers argue for more time.
[Updated at 6:30 a.m. ET] When the court returns from break, Pistorius' defense team will have to argue that there are "exceptional circumstances" to allow bail for Oscar.
[Updated at 5:36 a.m. ET] It is very hard to get bail for a Schedule 6 offense. Pistorius' family huddles, holding on to each other. They seem to be praying. Photographers eagerly take photos.
[Updated at 5:31 a.m. ET] Magistrate will consider downgrading the charge later, but for now Oscar faces the tougher Schedule 6 charge of premeditated murder.
[Updated at 5:28 a.m. ET] The magistrate says he cannot completely exclude premeditation and planning.
[Updated at 5:21 a.m. ET] As Pistorius' family waits for the decision, they shake their heads and close their eyes in prayer. Oscar bows his head.
[Updated at 5:12 a.m. ET] The magistrate is about to rule on the prosecution's assertion of premeditation. Oscar is back in court. He breaks down, as he awaits the ruling.
[Updated at 5:08 a.m. ET] There will be an affidavit read aloud – Oscar's version of events, a relative says.
[Updated at 5:05 a.m. ET] Hearing has started again.
[Updated at 5:02 a.m. ET] Brother Adam Steenkamp: "There's a space missing inside all of the people she knew that can't be filled."
[Updated at 5:00 a.m. ET] Reeva Steenkamp's family holds a press conference: Her passing away can make a positive change in the lives of others.
[Updated at 4:01 a.m. ET] Court takes short break. Oscar leaves room.
[Updated at 3:53 a.m. ET] The defense counters:
Does the prosecutor have an eye witness saying Pistorius put on his prosthetic legs and walked to the bathroom?, attorney Barry Roux asks.
[Updated at 3:52 a.m. ET] The prosecution contends that Pistorius and Steenkamp had a big argument, he fired shots and killed her, then "realized it was a mistake."
"Then he felt bad afterwards," Nel, the prosecutor, says. "So what?"
It is still preplanned, he says.
Nel also says Pistorius broke down the door to the bathroom and carried Steenkamp downstairs.
[Updated at 3:46 a.m. ET] More from the prosecution:
Steenkamp locked the door for a reason. "We will get to that."
"The bold facts make this a preplanned murder," Nel says
[Updated at 3:42 a.m. ET] The prosecution is up again. We have a woman who locked herself in the toilet in the early hours of the morning, Nel says. The prosecutor says it's a small bathroom and Steenkamp couldn't go anywhere. "Must have been horrific," Nel says.
[Updated at 3:36 a.m. ET] State comes back, still arguing it was a planned murder. Prosecutors say Pistorius got up from his bed, put on his prosthetic legs and walked 7 meters.
[Updated at 3:35 a.m. ET] Defense argues that it was not a premeditated killing. Steenkamp locked herself in toilet and was shot through toilet door - that's all that is known, the defense says. Where is the premeditation, the defense asks. Oscar breaks down when Steenkamp's name is mentioned.
[Updated at 3:15 a.m. ET] State argues why would a burglar lock themselves in the bathroom.
[Updated at 3:14 a.m. ET] Pistorious stands to confirm he has no previous convictions. Defense says it is not premeditated.
[Updated at 3:09 a.m. ET] Defense now arguing that he has no previous conviction
[Updated at 3:01 a.m. ET] We now have the names of the key players.
THE PROSECUTOR: Gerrie Nel – Senior state prosecutor
THE DEFENSE: Barry Roux – Senior Advocate
THE JUDGE: Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair
[Updated at 3:01 a.m. ET] The State argues that Oscar armed himself, attached his legs, and shot four times. Thus it is premeditated murder, it says. Pistorius's brother, Carl, puts his hand on the athlete to comfort him.
[Updated at 2:56 a.m. ET] Prosecutors say Reeva Steenkamp arrived at Pistorius' house to spend the night. They say she was shot three times. Pistorius told a friend he thought it was a burglar, prosecutors say.
[Updated at 2:55 a.m. ET] As Oscar sobs, his brother, Carl, leans over and hands him a tissue.
[Updated at 2:52 a.m. ET] As prosecutors state that Pistorius "shot and killed an innocent woman," Pistorius buries his head in his hands and sobs loudly.
[Updated at 2:49 a.m. ET] The court is in session. South African prosecutors have said they want to upgrade the charge against Oscar Pistorius to premeditated murder. It is up to the defense to argue otherwise. Oscar sits, staring ahead.
[Posted at 2:45 a.m. ET] Oscar Pistorius arrived in a Pretoria courtroom Tuesday in a blue shirt and gray suit, and stood before the judge with his hands clasped in front of him.
His sister and his brother sat in the front row of the spectator section.
Photographers snapped away, prompting a stern rebuke from the judge who yelled at them to stop shooting.
Pistorius, charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, is seeking bail.