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Olympian to face murder rap

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By The Associated Press
Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

JOHANNESBURG — Oscar Pistorius will be indicted for premeditated murder Monday, and the double-amputee Olympian will go on trial in early 2014, about a year after shooting dead his girlfriend, prosecutors said.

In a somber twist, Pistorius will be indicted on the day the woman he is accused of killing, Reeva Steenkamp, would have celebrated her 30th birthday.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Medupe Simasiku said the exact date for the trial had not yet been set.

The indictment papers will be served at Pretoria Magistrate's Court, and the prosecution will retain a main charge of premeditated murder, Simasiku said. Pistorius faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison if convicted on that charge.

Pistorius denies he committed murder and says he shot Steenkamp by mistake in the early hours of Feb. 14 because he thought she was a nighttime intruder in his bathroom in his villa in a gated community in the South African capital, Pretoria.

The athlete's defense team wouldn't comment on the charge or charges but they expect to see a copy of the indictment and related papers before Monday's court proceedings.

Those papers are also expected to include a witness list and detail some of the evidence police have gathered since Pistorius fired four bullets from his licensed 9mm gun through a locked toilet cubicle door in his bathroom, hitting his girlfriend three times and killing her.

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