PRETORIA - Oscar Pistorius was set to return to the stand Wednesday after an uncontrollable breakdown while testifying during his murder trial on shooting his lover and finding her lifeless body.
The court will hear testimony on when he found Reeva Steenkamp in a pool of blood, after he broke down the door through which he fired four shots in the early morning hours of Valentines’ Day last year.
It is also possible prosecutor Gerrie Nel will start cross-examination, a tough experience on the 27-year-old’s third day on the witness stand. He will endure probable hard treatment from a lawyer that has been likened to a bulldog.
Pistorius faces a life sentence if found guilty of deliberately murdering Steenkamp on February 14, 2013, a charge he denies.
“I was overcome with fear,” the athlete testified in a trembling voice Tuesday, speaking out publicly for the first time about shooting dead Steenkamp, 29, at his Pretoria home on February 14, 2013.
“Before I knew it, I’d fired four shots at the door,” he said, describing his actions after he thought an intruder had made a noise in the bathroom in the dead of night.
He explained how the couple had gone to bed around 10pm after a quiet evening, but that he woke up to bring inside two fans he had put on a balcony to cool his bedroom.
At that point he knew Steenkamp was awake and they exchanged a few words.
“That’s the moment that everything changed,” he described the moment he heard a sound coming from the bathroom.
On hearing the noise, and then a window opening, he whispered to his 29-year-old girlfriend in bed to call the police, the court heard.
He grabbed his gun, and rushed without his prostheses to the bathroom shouting for the intruder to get out.
He then fired at the door, and ran back to the bed only to find that the model was not there.
Steenkamp lay mortally wounded when her boyfriend broke down the cubicle door with a cricket bat, after he failed to kick it in.
“I sat over Reeva,” the athlete testified Wednesday crying loudly. He put his head in his hands and let out the barely intelligible cry, “she wasn’t breathing”.
His uncontrollable sobs prompted an early adjournment for the day.