In an emotionally wrenching hearing Tuesday, a judge upgraded the charge against Oscar Pistorius to premeditated murder, saying he could not rule out the possibility that the track star planned the shooting death of girlfriend.
But the judge said he will consider downgrading the charge later.
Pistorius had been charged with murder for the Valentine's Day shooting of Reeva Steenkamp, and the hearing Tuesday was to determine whether he should be allowed to post bail.
But prosecutors had said they would try to get the charge upgraded. And throughout the proceeding, they hammered away at the possibility that Steenkamp's killing was premeditated. The defense countered by contending Pistorius thought his girlfriend was an intruder.
With the new charge, Pistorius' case for bail may prove much more difficult. The defense must now try to argue that "exceptional circumstances" exist that would justify bail.
"I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend," Pistorius said in a statement read to the court by his lawyer.
Pistorius, heaving and sobbing, was too upset to read it himself.(MORE AT CNN)