Oscar Pistorius Trial: Olympian Breaks Down On Stand Detailing Shooting; Court Adjourned
Oscar Pistorius On Shooting Reeva Steenkamp
Pistorius, 27, was up on the stand to tell the jury his account of Feb. 14, 2013, when he shot and killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. As his defense has maintained throughout the court proceedings, Pistorius claimed he believed that an intruder – not Steenkamp – was behind the bathroom door when he fired off four shots from his pistol.
"There's no barrier between me and the bathroom window,” said Pistorius, recalling his sense that someone had broken into his home. “I immediately thought that they could be there at any moment. The first thing that ran through my mind was that I needed to arm myself. I needed to protect Reeva and I and I needed to get my gun.”
"Before I knew it I fired four shots at the door," he continued. After unloading his weapon, Pistorius said he called for Steenkamp. When he didn’t get an answer and couldn’t find her in his bedroom, panic took over. "I was panicking at this point. I didn't know what to make or what to do," Pistorius recounted. "I don't think I've ever screamed like that. … I was crying out to the Lord, I was crying out for Reeva."
When he broke through the bathroom door, he found out he'd shot his girlfriend. “She wasn’t breathing,” Pistorius said. Shortly thereafter up on the stand, Pistorius appeared to be overcome with emotion and was unable to continue his testimony. Due to his emotional breakdown, the judge adjourned court and later decided to halt proceedings for the day.
Pistorius On Relationship With Steenkamp
Earlier in the day, Pistorius was called on to talk about the state of his and Steenkamp’s relationship. "If anything, I was more into her at times than she was with me … I was besotted with her," Pistorius said. He went on to admit that he did at times feel insecure or jealous, but that they’d become fully committed to each other in January. Pistorius said Monday in court that Steenkamp “felt loved” when they’d gone to bed the night before her death.
Following Pistorius’ testimony, the defense plans to call over a dozen more witnesses to the stand. It’s expected that the trial will stretch into the middle of May. Pistorius’ verdict and sentencing will be determined by Judge Thokozile Masipa.
– Chelsea Regan
For More Oscar Pistorius News:
> Oscar Pistorius Trial Update: Photos Of Blood-Covered Pistorius Shown In Court; Investigator Bolsters Defense's Case
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