Pistorius alleges to have shot Steencamp four times, believing that she was an intruder, but authorities have pegged him a cold-blooded killer.The double amputee, who became an Olympic hero during the London games, cried in his hands as the charges were read, with more than 100 people in the room. Although he has yet to enter a plea, his family released a statement saying that he denies the allegations. "The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms," the statement read, adding that he "has made it very clear that he would like to send his deepest sympathies to the family of Reeva ... Our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family."
Pistorius, 26, didn't speak during proceedings.
His hearing was held just as a photo of the 9mm weapon used to kill Steencamp, was released. The 29-year-old was shot from behind a door in the early morning of Valentine's Day, sustaining hits to the head, chest, pelvis, and hand. Security guards found Pistorius sitting next to the body.
Prosecutors believe that the murder was premeditated, news of which could be proved in the trial, since the six-time Paralympic gold medalists is said to have been involved in domestic violence.
According to his attorney, the allegations have left Pistorius in an "extremely traumatized state."
Next week, a judge will decide if Pistorius is eligible for a bail amount, which prosecutors will try to block.
If convicted, he faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.
Photos: Antoine de Ras/EPA/AP