Pretoria, South Africa (CNN) - Track star Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend accidentally, mistaking her for an intruder in the pitch dark of his home, he told a judge in a statement read by his attorney during his bail hearing Tuesday.
"I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend," Pistorius said in the statement.
Pistorius' attorney read the statement because the runner himself was too distraught to speak. He sobbed and heaved so much during the hearing that the magistrate had to stop proceedings and ask him to compose himself. He broke down each time Reeva Steenkamp's name was mentioned.
In the statement, Pistorius said he awoke in the early hours of the morning February 14 to noises in the bathroom and said a "sense of terror overwhelmed me." He said he thought Steenkamp was in bed beside him and that he was too scared to turn on the lights. He said he shouted to her to call police, but she didn't answer.
He said he was not wearing his prosthetic legs and felt "extremely vulnerable" and needed to protect himself and Steenkamp, 29.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers agree Steenkamp died after being shot by Pistorius, 26. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Pistorius shot four times, striking Steenkamp with three bullets.
This morning on "Starting Point," fmr. prosecutor John Q. Kelly on differences between U.S. and South Africa court procedure in the Oscar Pistorius case.
READ MORE: Pistorius says Steenkamp death unintentional