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Oscar Pistorius shaken by testimony about girlfriend's death

March 06, 2014|By David Wharton
  • Oscar Pistorius leaves court.
Oscar Pistorius leaves court. (Kim Ludbrook / EPA )

Bent over, with his hands covering his ears, Oscar Pistorius reacted emotionally Thursday to gruesome testimony about the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, whom he is accused of murdering.

The detailed descriptions came from a neighbor who rushed over to Pistorius' home in Pretoria, South Africa, moments after the early morning shooting on Valentine's Day last year, the Associated Press reported.

"It was obvious that she was mortally wounded," Johan Stipp testified. "At the bottom of the stairs ... there was a lady lying on her back on the floor."

Stipp, who is a radiologist, said the 29-year-old Steenkamp had wounds to her right thigh, her upper arm and the right side of her head, where there was brain tissue around the skull.

"I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side," Stipp said of Pistorius, who appeared shaken during the testimony. "He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth. I remember the first thing he said when I got there was 'I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her.'"

The neighbor said he did not recognize Pistorius at first. Steenkamp was not breathing and had no pulse, he said.

Known as "the Blade Runner," Pistorius is a world-class athlete who sprints on prosthetic legs. He made history at the 2012 London Olympics, becoming the first Paralympian to compete in the Games.

Prosecutors have charged him with intentionally shooting Steenkamp through a toilet door after an argument in February 2013. The runner has claimed that he thought she was an intruder.

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