Oscar Pistorius continued his testimony in his murder trial today, describing his version of the events that ended with him shooting and killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Feb. 14 of last year.
Pistorius's defense team has maintained that he shot his girlfriend accidentally, mistaking her for an intruder hiding in his bathroom. Pistorius testified that he awoke in the middle of the night because he was having trouble sleeping in the heat, at which point he heard the window in his bathroom slide open. In the video above, Pistorius describes the ensuing sequence of events. According to Pistorius, he was "overcome with fear" and convinced that burglars had entered his house through the bathroom window. He responded by grabbing his gun from underneath the bed, and shouting for Steenkamp to get down and call the police.
Pistorius then moved, without his prosthetic legs, through the passageway connecting his bedroom with the bathroom. Upon entering the bathroom, he testified that he noticed that the window was open and that the door to the toilet was closed. Here, he describes what happened next:
Pistorius was emotional throughout his testimony, his voice breaking and quivering multiple times. The defense's case rests on Pistorius's ability to successfully portray himself as a contrite man who acted out of blind fear. At one point, his attorneys had him remove his prosthetic legs and stand next to the toilet door from his home on his stumps, demonstrating for the court how vulnerable he felt on the night of the shooting.
Still, much of Pistorius's own testimony makes his version of events a hard sell. On multiple occasions, he testified that he was "screaming" for Steenkamp to call the police and for the burglars to leave his home. He even admits to screaming one last warning before firing into the toilet door and killing Steenkamp. Why Steenkamp never responded to those screams isn't explained.