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Oscar Pistorius Testifies for the Defense in Murder Trial
On Monday, Oscar Pistorius took the stand to testify in his murder trial, claiming that he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year in what was a tragic mistake. According to the New York Times, Pistorius began his testimony with an apology to the relatives of Steenkamp.
“There hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family,” Pistorius said. “I can’t imagine the pain and the sorrow and the loss I caused your family.”
Pistorius said that he shot Steenkamp four times through a locked bathroom door on the morning of February 14, 2013. He claims that he thought she was in bed and that the person in the bathroom was an intruder.
“I was simply trying to protect Reeva,” he said.
Pistorius could be sentenced to 25 years in prison if he is convicted of the most serious charges against him; premeditated murder.
The lawyer for Pistorius, Barry Roux, said that his client had been subject to multiple violent attacks over the years, including break-ins and carjackings. Roux also said that the family of Pistorius was also subject to those crimes. Roux said that Pistorius’ mother keeps a gun under her bed and that Pistorius has been followed home and threatened in the past.
Pistorius also said during his testimony that he feels vulnerable being a double amputee.
“I don’t have balance,” he said. “I have very limited mobility.”
Pistorius said that he is on sleeping pills and antidepressants since the shooting occurred.
“I have terrible nightmares about the things that happened that night,” he said, adding that he wakes up to the vivid smell of “all that blood. I wake up in a complete state of terror, to a point where I’d rather not sleep than fall asleep and wake up like that.”
Pistorius has been living at his uncle’s estate since being released on bail. Despite staying at a different house, he said his nights are still terrifying.
“I woke up and I was terrified, and for some reason I couldn’t calm myself down, so I climbed into the cupboard (closet) and got my sister to come and sit by me for a while.”
While testifying on Monday, Pistorius spoke about his love for Steenkamp.
“I was taken aback, bowled over by how much I felt for her,” he said.
Pistorius, after spending hours on the stand, said that he did not sleep on Sunday night.
“I’m just really tired at the moment,” he said. “The weight of this is extremely overbearing.”Oscar Pistorius Testifies for the Defense in Murder Trial by Jim Vassallo