Apr 15, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
The chief prosecutor in Oscar Pistorius‘ murder trial ended five days of cross-examining the runner Tuesday, saying Pistorius knowingly fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after they had an argument on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Pistorius, who has said he shot through a door thinking an intruder was behind it, called it a “hypothetical” argument.
“Your version is not only untruthful, it’s so improbable that it cannot be reasonably true,” prosecutor Gerrie Nel said, drawing an “I don’t agree” response from Pistorius. “You armed yourself with the sole purpose of shooting and killing her.
“Afterwards, you were overcome by what you’ve done. … Only because it was your intention to kill her.”
Those final comments from Nel with Pistorius in the witness box were subdued compared to his most stinging questions in the Pretoria court room on the 23rd day of the trial.
Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder. If not found guilty of premeditated murder, he could be convicted of culpable homicide, South Africa’s version of manslaughter for negligent killing.
“Who should we blame for the Black Talon [bullet] rounds that ripped through her body?” Nel asked, drawing Judge Thokozile Masipa to intervene, saying it was a rephrasing of previous questions.
Pistorius recounted his actions from last year after he shot four times through a locked bathroom door, hitting Steenkamp inside.
He said he bashed open the door with a cricket bat, crouched over Steenkamp seated on the floor and checked to see if she was breathing. Pistorius felt that she wasn’t at first, but then he said he heard her breathing.
“I was talking to her all the time, saying baby please hold on,” Pistorius said. “Jesus, please help me. I was praying for her.”
He tried to but couldn’t pick her up, so he moved her outside of the toilet room and into the outer bathroom. He grabbed her phone from inside the toilet room but didn’t know the passcode to access it. So he ran into his bedroom, took his phone and called for help.
Pistorius said he screamed while trying to break into the bathroom but was questioned by Nel as to why he stopped yelling out when he saw it was Steenkamp behind the door.
“I was broken,” Pistorius said. “I was overcome by sadness. So I wouldn’t have screamed out.”
In brief re-examination, defense attorney Barry Roux had Pistorius read the Valentine’s Day card that Steenkamp made for him that Pistorius did not open until Aug. 19, Steenkamp’s 30th birthday.
“Roses are red, violets are blue,” Pistorius said it read on one side. “I think today is a good day to tell you that I love you.”
Later, forensic expert Roger Dixon testified, with the aid of photos, of how dark Pistorius’ room was, about damage to the toilet door and wounds to Steenkamp’s back and butt. Pistorius covered his eyes and ears while Dixon talked about Steenkamp’s wounds.
Nel asked for a trial break until May 5, still expecting to fit it in the window deadline of May 16. Masipa said she would rule on that Wednesday.
Oct 31, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT
Ledecky, and other women, are entered in mixed-gender distance races in Delaware.
Oct 31, 2014, 5:58 PM EDT
The top U.S. man on Friday finished 10th at the U.S. Championships in January.
Oct 31, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
The Kenyan won four straight World Marathon Majors.
Oct 31, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT
Bayern Munich soccer player won by a single point.
Oct 31, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT
Russian media reports vary on his health.
Oct 31, 2014, 9:13 AM EDT
Norway and Sweden both withdrew 2022 Olympic bids.
Oct 31, 2014, 8:33 AM EDT
But Neymar’s status for Rio 2016 is still very much in question.
Oct 30, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT
Keflezighi faces tough odds to win Sunday, just as in Boston.
Oct 30, 2014, 2:23 PM EDT
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Oct 30, 2014, 8:37 AM EDT
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Oct 29, 2014, 4:36 PM EDT
Anderson is the two-time reigning USA Volleyball Player of the Year.
Oct 29, 2014, 3:03 PM EDT
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Oct 29, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT
Tennis player flew from Singapore to Denmark to New York this week.
Oct 29, 2014, 10:04 AM EDT
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Oct 29, 2014, 9:48 AM EDT
Bruno Grandi was at the helm for a judging overhaul.
Oct 29, 2014, 9:35 AM EDT
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Oct 28, 2014, 1:58 PM EDT
Sundquist was a partially eaten gingerbread man, a leg lamp and a flamingo in recent years.
Oct 28, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT
Either Berlin or Hamburg will be chosen in March.
Oct 28, 2014, 9:24 AM EDT
Those against Boston hosting an Olympics sent a letter to the USOC.
Oct 28, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT
Judge rules in lawsuit over environmental concerns.
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