Double amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius, who is facing charges for murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, began to cry in court on Friday in Pretoria, South Africa, The New York Times reports.

Pistorius is fighting a “premeditated murder” murder charge, and if found guilty he will receive a mandatory life sentence and be eligible for parole in 25 years. South Africa does not have the death penalty.

There had been previous reports of domestic disputes in Pistorious’s home. However, Jenna Edkins, a former girlfriend of Pistorius's, took to Twitter to persuade people from judging the Olympian before all of the facts were laid out.

"All I am saying is let him speak, let his side be heard without jumping to conclusions. Love and thoughts to Reevas family," Edkins tweeted. "I have dated Oscar on and off for 5 YEARS, NOT ONCE has he EVER lifted a finger to me, made me fear for my life."

"The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms," Pistorius’s management team released in a statement, later adding that "our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family — regardless of the circumstances of this terrible, terrible tragedy.”

The national hero’s hearing was so packed that the capacity crowd was forced to stand. Pistorius' bail hearing will be held on Tuesday, where police will likely deny any option for bail.

Pistorius, 26, won three medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games (two gold and one silver), and also competed in the able-bodied Olympics for South Africa’s 4×400 relay team, making him the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympic Games. He is nicknamed the "Blade Runner" because he runs on two carbon-fiber prosthetic legs. — Hal Sundt

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