News / Africa

Pistorius Trial Adjourned After Star Witness Breaks Down

Pistorius Breaks Down During Testimonyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Pamela Dockins
April 08, 2014 4:00 PM
South African runner Oscar Pistorius broke down in sobs Tuesday as he described the moment he realized he had fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his Pretoria home. As VOA's Pam Dockins reports, his emotional recount of last year's shooting took place during his second day of testimony at his murder trial.

Video report by Pam Dockins

VOA News
A South African court adjourned Oscar Pistorius' murder trial until Wednesday to allow the athlete to regain composure after he broke down and cried on the witness stand Tuesday, as he described the moment he realized he had fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The South African runner, testifying for a second day in his murder trial, said he initially thought an intruder was in his Pretoria home when he fired shots through a locked bathroom door.

"I flung the door open. I threw it open and I sat over Reeva and I cried.  I don't know how long.  I don't know how long I was there for.  She wasn't breathing," he said.
 
  • Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria, April 14, 2014.
  • Oscar Pistorius outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 10, 2014.
  • Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
  • Family members, including uncle Arnold Pistorius, right, cry as they listen to Oscar Pistorius testifying in court in Pretoria, April 8, 2014.
  • Oscar Pistorius becomes emotional during his trial at the high court in Pretoria, April 7, 2014.
  • Members of the public crowd around Oscar Pistorius as he leaves the high court, Pretoria, March 12, 2014.

  • Oscar Pistorius cries as he prays with his sister Aimee and brother Carl at his indictment at the magistrates court in Pretoria, August 19, 2013.
  • This aerial image taken from video provided by VNS24/7 shows the home of Oscar Pistorius in a gated housing complex in Pretoria, Feb. 14, 2013.
  • Olympian runner Oscar Pistorius posing next to his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, Jan. 26, 2013.
  • Oscar Pistorius celebrates winning the men's 400 meter final during the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Sept. 8, 2012.

Several people in the audience wiped their eyes as Pistorius recounted the events leading up to Steenkamp's shooting.  After an adjournment, the judge canceled testimony for the rest of the day.

Earlier Tuesday, the defense focused on Pistorius' relationship with Steenkamp.

He told the court that prior to the night he shot Steenkamp, the two had discussed future travel plans and decorating a new house in Johannesburg.

“There were many things that we had in common that we started speaking about more frequently, and there were events that she invited me to and vice-versa, and we started really seeing a future with each other,” he said.

Pistorius also read aloud text messages sent by Steenkamp, as his lead defense lawyer led him through a series of conversations that depict times the couple fought, reconciled and lived happily.

“I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of how you will react to me. You make me happy 90 percent of the time, and I think we are amazing together,” he said.

The defense is trying to convince the court that Pistorius is not guilty of murdering Steenkamp.

Prosecutors say Pistorius intentionally shot her, while the defense says he thought he was shooting at a nighttime intruder.

On Monday, Pistorius apologized to Steenkamp's family before answering questions about his life before and after the February 2013 shooting, as well as the difficulties caused by his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of pre-meditated murder and three firearm-related offenses.  If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

Pistorius is known as the "blade runner" for his prosthetic legs.  He became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics when he ran at the 2012 games in London.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
April 08, 2014 12:58 PM
A performance deserving an oscar; fortunately the facts are very clear- a screaming in terror woman; a closed door with absolutely no possible threat to this shooter; 5 shots, through a closed door, when in fact he was supposed to fire one warning shot, and ask for a response; for the first few month his composure showed no remorse.

Speculation- given the number of shots fired in the blind, almost emptied the magazine, without showing any humanity/restraint, a great deal of anger is demonstrated,and not fear; it was a clear continuation of an argument, that escalated into the merciless execution of this unarmed, innocent woman. Her error was to hang around with a really bad person, that is self centred with an uncontrollable sense of self assurance/ righteousness! which he also demonstrated in past negative situations/incidents.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid