PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - A South African judge says defense lawyers will need to offer "exceptional" reasons to convince him to grant bail for Oscar Pistorius, when a hearing resumes Wednesday.

In a statement to the court, Pistorius acknowledged firing the shots that killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, before dawn on Valentine's Day. But the double amputee Olympian says he grabbed his pistol, fearing someone had broken into his Pretoria home.

Pistorius wept uncontrollably as he listened to his attorney read his statement to the court on the first day of the two-day bail hearing. Pistorius said he awoke before dawn and was on his balcony when he heard a noise and became alarmed because the bathroom window, which had no security bars, was open and workers had left ladders nearby.

Pistorius says he had been a victim of crime before, and the noise filled him "with horror and fear."

Prosecutors say Pistorius' claim is not credible and that he intended to kill Steenkamp. They say the couple had argued and the 29-year-old model was trapped in the bathroom with no escape when Pistorius shot her.

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