Oscar Pistorius took the stand on Monday in an attempt to prove that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Before Pistorius, 27, testified, he had to sit through gruesome evidence from a pathologist. As he’s done throughout the trial, the Paralympian broke down, crying and throwing up as the testimony was given.

Oscar Pistorius Takes Stand

Once upon the stand, Pistorius took the opportunity to apologize to Steenkamp’s surviving family and friends. “I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Mr. and Mrs. Steenkamp, to Reeva’s family,” said Pistorius. “To those of you who knew her who are in court today.”

Pistorius also used the opportunity to expound upon his current state over a year after he killed his girlfriend. He claimed that he is on anti-depressants and sleeping pills, though he doesn’t want to sleep as his dreams are riddled with nightmares from which he wakes to the “smell of blood.”

Pistorius Says Steenkamp 'Felt Loved'

“There hasn’t been a moment I haven’t thought about this tragedy,” he told the court. “I was simply trying to protect Reeva. I can promise you when she went to bed that night she felt loved. I’ve tried to put my feelings in words to you several times, but no words ever sufficed.”

Pistorius’s testimony comes on the 17th day of the trial, and the first day on which the defense is presenting their case for his innocence. Lead defense attorney Barry Roux asked Pistorius questions about his childhood and amputations, his mother’s influence in his life and the loss he felt at her unexpected death, attempting to paint a different picture of the man than what the prosecution has drawn.

The prosecution alleges that Pistorius, a rash man with a bad temper and deep fondness for guns, premeditated the killing of Steenkamp after an argument. They suggest he fired into the locked bathroom door in a fit of rage, knowing his girlfriend was on the other side. Pistorius and his defense, meanwhile, have been trying to prove that he mistook the person behind the locked bathroom door for an intruder and that he was trying to protect both himself and Steenkamp.

– Chelsea Regan

For More Oscar Pistorius News:

> Oscar Pistorius Trial Update: Reeva Steenkamp Texted 'I'm Scared Of You'

> Oscar Pistorius Trial Update: Photos Of Blood-Covered Pistorius Shown In Court; Investigator Bolsters Defense's Case

> Oscar Pistorius Trial Update: Bathroom Door Presented As Evidence In Court

> Oscar Pistorius Trial Update: Athlete Vomits In Court As Reeva Steenkamp Autopsy Details Are Given

> Oscar Pistorius Trial Update: 'Blade Runner' Pleads Not Guilty To Premeditated Murder Of Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

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