Updates on Oscar Pistorius After Being Indicted on Additional Gun Charges

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2013

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 19:  South African athlete Oscar Pistorius appears in Pretoria Magistrates Court for an indictment hearing on August 19, 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius, 26 is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp which Pistorius denies claiming he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. The indictment was served and the trial date of March 3, 2014 was set in Pretoria Magistrates Court.  (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee Olympian who faces a murder charge in relation to the death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, is now facing additional gun-related charges for separate incidents over the past two years.

Pistorius allegedly fired his personal handgun out of a sunroof while driving with friends last year, and then, in the weeks before the Steenkamp's death, he discharged a friend's firearm at a restaurant, according to a report from the Associated Press, via The Guardian.

The double-amputee Olympian has already been indicted on a main charge of murder for Steenkamp's shooting in February and a charge of illegal possession of ammunition in his Pretoria home.

It is likely he will face all four charges at his trial starting in March, although his lawyers can argue against the new charges being added to his current indictment as the offences are alleged to have taken place in Johannesburg, which falls under a different court jurisdiction.

The report states the director of public prosecutions in South Africa allowed prosecutors to add new charges to the upcoming trail last month. It remains unclear whether Pistorius' defense team will challenge the ruling and attempt to keep the charges apart.    

Also included is the fact the gun that was reportedly used to shoot through the sunroof last year is the same one involved in the death of Steenkamp. How that could impact the decision to combine the charges is unknown.

As for the second apparent gun-related incident, which occurred in January, Pistorius was checking out his friend's gun when it accidentally discharged under the table.

The AP report says the charges for both incidents could include public endangerment and damage to property. Those would be added to the murder charge, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life if he's found guilty of premeditated murder.

Pistorius has stated that he thought Steenkamp was somebody who had broke into his house and shot her by accident.

The trial is set to begin in March on that and the illegal possession of ammunition charges. Whether these new accusations will be included is yet to be decided.