TIME South Africa

Oscar Pistorius Buries Face in Hands During Gruesome Murder Trial Testimony

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts during the fourth day of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, March 6, 2014.
Werner Beukes—Reuters Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts during the fourth day of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, March 6, 2014.

South African track star and one-time Olympian Oscar Pistorius broke out in tears as a neighbor testified about the grisly scene just after Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend—by accident, he maintains—on Valentine's Day 2013

Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympic runner charged with murdering his girlfriend, broke out in tears during his trial Thursday as a neighbor testified to the grisly scene in the moments after shots were fired.

Seated on a bench in the Pretoria courtroom, Pistorius, 27, buried his face in his hands and convulsed while his neighbor, a medical doctor, detailed the injuries of Reeva Steenkamp, 29, after Pistorius shot her on Valentine’s Day last year, CNN reports. The track star says he shot her by accident, thinking she was an intruder.

The neighbor said when he arrived at the house, Pistorius was deeply upset and trying to revive Steenkamp, CNN reports.

“He definitely wanted her to live, yes,” the neighbor said. “He looked sincere to me. He was crying; there were tears on his face.”

There is no dispute that Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp—at issue in the trial is whether or not he did so by accident. The defense maintains that Pistorius heard sounds in a bathroom in the middle of the night and fired four shots through the locked door at what he thought was an intruder. The prosecution contends the couple had an argument that night and Steenkamp locked herself in the bathroom, before Pistorius unloaded a flurry of bullets on her through the closed door


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