Pistorius sobs during testimony in murder trial

PRETORIA, South Africa — Oscar Pistorius broke down in sobs and howls while testifying at his murder trial Tuesday, forcing the court to adjourn as the star athlete was describing the moments he said he first realized he had shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home last year.

“I sat over Reeva and I cried,” Pistorius said, telling how he broke open the stall door in his bathroom to discover his mortally wounded girlfriend inside and slumped over in the cubicle. “I don’t know how long I was there for,” Pistorius said.

Pistorius has said he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder in his bathroom. Tuesday marked the first time he has spoken publicly on the details of the shooting. Prosecutors call Pistorius’ story an intricate lie and maintain he intentionally killed his girlfriend, a model and reality TV show star, after an argument.

On the witness stand, he began to cry loudly, forcing the judge to rule a brief adjournment. Pistorius didn’t stand up when the judge left, and also started to wail as he sat slumped over on the witness stand, his head in his hands. His brother and sister went over to him in an apparent attempt to comfort him and he left the courtroom through a side door, still crying.

When Judge Thokozile Masipa returned, she called an early adjournment. Pistorius had by that time appeared to compose himself and had returned to sit, jaw clenched, in the witness box.

Pistorius was testifying about how he broke down the toilet door after shooting four times through it, and finding a gravely injured Steenkamp inside.

“At that point all I wanted to do was just look inside to see if it was Reeva,” Pistorius said, his voice shaking and starting to cry before breaking down in the sobs.

The Olympian is charged with premeditated murder in Steenkamp’s death and faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years before parole if convicted on that charge.

Earlier, Pistorius said that the sound of a bathroom window opening had convinced him that someone was breaking into his house.

“That’s the moment that everything changed,” Pistorius said.

Oscar Pistorius described Tuesday what he said were the terror-filled moments before he shot Steenkamp to death and removed his prosthetic legs in court to show how he stood by the toilet door which he fired into. The actual bullet-riddled toilet door was set up in the courtroom to show how the shooting took place.

Pistorius said that he heard a window open in his bathroom in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013, causing him to believe intruders had entered his house and to race to get to his gun to defend himself and his girlfriend, who he claims he thought was still in bed.

Pistorius claims he was not wearing his prosthetics — and therefore felt more vulnerable — when he shot through the door to kill Steenkamp. In the courtroom, he sat on a wooden bench and took off his prosthetics and approached the bullet-marked toilet door to show his diminished height.

Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder in Steenkamp’s death and faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years before parole if convicted on that charge.

More in Sports

Silvertips set to host pair of East Division powerhouses

Brandon and Swift Current make rare appearances in Everett this weekend.

‘Fear’ drives UWs Carter III back to the gym every single day

The freshman PG tries to get in 500 shots a day on his quest to be a success on the floor and in life.

Everett’s Stephan Erosa, left, competes against Arlington Brantly StupeyThursday night at Arlington High School in Arlington on January 18, 2018. The Eagles won 37-25.(Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Arlington wrestlers scrap to 37-25 win over Everett

Aggressive lineup moves pay off for the Eagles in a big Wesco 3A North win over the Seagulls.

Additions of Murray, Sharp give Silvertips depth

After a ‘crazy busy’ week upon being traded to Everett, the new duo is finally settling in.

Coupeville boys basketball celebrating 101st anniversary Friday

The Coupeville High School boys basketball program is celebrating its… Continue reading

POLL RESULTS: Edgar Martinez is getting in the Hall of Fame

Fifty-nine percent of responders believe the Seattle Mariners legend will be elected this year.

Lakewood’s Perry earns WIAA Athlete of the Week honors

Lakewood girls basketball star Jelly Perry earned Athlete of the Week honors… Continue reading

Huskies fall to Utah 70-62 for 2nd straight Pac-12 loss

Washington shoots just 38.5 percent from the field in defeat.

No. 13 Gonzaga falls to rival Saint Mary’s 74-71

Jock Landale scores 26 points as the Gaels take sole possession of first place in the WCC.

Most Read