Oscar Pistorius holds memorial for girlfriend he’s accused of killing

Posted at 9:27 PM, Feb 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-26 21:32:49-05

(CNN) — More than a week after he was charged in her death, South African track star Oscar Pistorius intends to hold a private memorial service Tuesday night for his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his uncle’s Pretoria home, Pistorius’ family said in a statement Tuesday.

Pistorius’ family said it released the statement because information about the memorial service had leaked to the news media.

“Oscar specifically requested the memorial service as he continues to grieve and remains in deep mourning for the loss of his partner Reeva,” the Pistorius family’s statement reads. “Since it is such a sensitive issue, Oscar has asked for a private service with people who share his loss, including his family members who knew and loved Reeva as one of their own.”

The family asked the media to give them privacy at the home Tuesday night.

Pistorius, a double-amputee and Olympian sprinter who competes with prosthetic legs, is charged with premeditated murder, accused of deliberately shooting his model girlfriend in his home on February 14.

His defense team claims Pistorius mistakenly believed Steenkamp, 29, was an intruder hiding in a toilet room inside the bathroom of his Pretoria home when he shot her.

Pistorius, 26, was released from jail Friday on $112,000 bail after a four-day, emotionally wrenching bail hearing.

Steenkamp’s father, Barry Steenkamp, told the Afrikaans-language newspaper Beeld for a story Saturday that if Pistorius is lying about how she died, he will have to live with his conscience. But Barry Steenkamp said that if Pistorius tells the truth, he might someday forgive him.