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Pistorius bail hearing nears a decision

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The defense and prosecution both completed their arguments Friday in Oscar Pistorius' bail hearing, with the magistrate to rule at 2:30 local time (7:30 a.m. E.T.) if the double-amputee athlete can be freed before trial or if he must stay behind bars pending trial in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

The prosecution vehemently opposed bail to Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair in a case that has transfixed South Africans and brought international media attention on the nation's justice system and police capabilities.

Pistorius is charged with one count of premeditated murder inr the Feb. 14 killing of Reeva Steenkamp. He says he accidentally shot her, thinking she was a dangerous intruder inside his home, lurking in a toilet stall off his bedroom.

Pistorius' hands trembled as he said "good morning, your worship" as the session began in Magistrate's Court in Pretoria, South Africa's capital. For the first time in the hearing, two representatives of the Steenkamp family were present in court, sitting behind and to the left of Pistorius in the public gallery.

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