Oscar Pistorius emerged from self-imposed isolation today for the first time in four months, appearing in court before a magistrate who warned the media to steer clear of any "scandalous" reporting that might taint the Olympian's murder trial.
Pistorius, wearing a dark suit and black and white tie, stood emotionless during the 15-minute hearing at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court in South Africa. The prosecution's request for postponement was granted and the case was pushed back to Aug. 19 so detectives can finish their investigation.
Pistorius, 26, dubbed "Blade Runner" for his prosthetic legs, is accused of premeditated murder for fatally shooting his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Valentine's Day.
The double-amputee Olympian was greeted at the entrance of the court by a frenzy of flashbulbs as he was accompanied by a dozen supporters, including his sister, Aimee, his uncle Arnold and his brother, Carl. Pistorius' only words were "Yes, your honor," when he asked whether he still understands the terms of his release.
The magistrate warned that "scandalous and possibly contemptuous" reporting by some in the media could impede Pistorius' right to a fair trial, adding that it's important that everyone respect the judicial process.
Magistrate Daniel Thulare also told the National Prosecuting Authority to "seriously look" at whether any of the coverage of the case had scandalized the court. Thulare has asked anyone with information about the crime to contact investigators.
The magistrate's concern comes after Sky News released images Friday of the blood-stained bathroom where Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp Feb. 14. Sky News said it "obtained" the collection of photographs of Pistorius' home, but did not divulge the source. One picture shows bloody shoe footprints, possible evidence that investigators contaminated the crime scene.
Pistorius says he shot girlfriend Steenkamp by accident, mistaking her for an intruder on at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.
Prosecutors say Pistorius knew Steenkamp, who had been sleeping in the same bed with him, was in the bathroom and he intended to kill her. They allege the Paralympian took a moment to put on his prosthetic legs, before he fired four shots through the closed bathroom door.
Pistorius maintains that he was not wearing his famous carbon-fiber blades when he fatally shot Steenkamp.
"He's a scared young man. People don't realize when he takes those legs off, he's this high." Pistorius' agent, Peet Van Zyl, told ABC News in an exclusive interview.
Defense lawyer Barry Roux told the court they expect to deal with several pre-trial issues at the next hearing, which is also expected to shed more light on exactly when the trial will get underway. The next date set for Pistorius to appear in court will fall on the day Steenkamp would have celebrated her 30th birthday.
Today's court date marked the first public appearance for Pistorius since he was freed on bail in February.
The Olympic athlete, his family says, has been living in isolation and surrounding himself with photos of Steenkamp and venturing outside on rare occasions. Van Zyl told ABC News that his client has spent the past four months grieving.
"You catch him on a down day, he's shedding a lot of tears," Van Zyl said.
Van Zyl doesn't believe Pistorius could've planned Steenkamp's slaying because the couple were making plans about their future. Van Zyl says Pistorius wanted to take Steenkamp with him to overseas competitions later this year.
"He said to me, 'I want to show her what my world is about.' If you've got all these things planned you wouldn't go and just risk everything and shoot the person you love premeditated. No way," Van Zyl said.
While Pistorius now awaits his fate and the beginning of his murder trial, he's also training in the gym as the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are in the back of everyone's mind.
"He's confident he will run again one day," Van Zyl said.