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Pistorius trial: Cell phone texts show tensions

Text Messages Show Jealous, Critical Pistorius

By Christopher Torchia and Carley Petesch

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - girlfriend told the athlete she was sometimes scared of him and complained about what she described as his short temper and jealousy in the weeks before he killed her, according to phone messages revealed at the Olympian's murder trial on Monday.

"I can't be attacked by outsiders for dating u AND be attacked by you, the one person I deserve protection from," Reeva Steenkamp wrote to Pistorius.

In another message read out loud by police Capt. Francois Moller, Steenkamp said she was sometimes afraid of the athlete: "I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and how you act at me."

Moller extracted information from Steenkamp's phone and said he obtained more than a 1,000 exchanges between her and Pistorius on WhatsApp and other phone messaging applications. Moller said he was given two BlackBerry phones, two iPhones, two iPads and a Mac computer the day after the shooting death of Steenkamp.

Moller said the data on her phone would print to more than 35,000 pages. Of the fraction of exchanges between the couple, Moller said that about 90 percent were what he called normal and "loving" exchanges.

In earlier testimony Monday a neighbor testified that she heard gunshots as well as screams from both a man and a woman on the night that the double amputee runner fatally shot Steenkamp.

Anette Stipp's testimony matched some of the evidence given by other witnesses earlier in the trial who said they also heard a woman screaming around the time that Pistorius killed Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013. According to Pistorius' version of events, he thought Steenkamp was in bed when he fired his pistol. He did not describe any woman screaming.

The defense has countered that the neighbors were actually hearing Pistorius screaming in a high-pitched voice after he shot Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model. Pistorius has said he shot his girlfriend by mistake through a locked toilet door, thinking that she was an intruder in his home.

Stipp said under cross-examination that she heard gunshots while lying awake around 3 a.m. on the night of the shooting, and then heard the "terrified, terrified" screams of a woman. Her bedroom is situated across a grassy area about 70 meters (230 feet) from Pistorius' home, and the windows of the athlete's bathroom are visible from her window.

"The screaming at that stage just continued," said Stipp, who recalled looking out from a balcony at two houses with lights on in the gated estate where her family and Pistorius lived.

She said she told her husband Johan, who previously testified, that the screaming sounded as though a "family murder" had taken place.

"There was definitely a female screaming for quite a period," Anette Stipp said. "You could definitely hear two different voices."

She said she then heard a second set of shots, and the screaming stopped.

The defense has said that Pistorius fired into the door and then battered the door with a cricket bat to get to Steenkamp after realizing she was inside the toilet cubicle. It insists that some neighbors who testified mistook the sound of the cricket bat striking the door for gunshots.

Pistorius' camp also maintains that Pistorius fired with quick bursts that gave Steenkamp no time to scream, and so Pistorius did not realize he was shooting at Steenkamp. A South African police ballistics expert, however, has testified that the first of three bullets that struck Steenkamp hit her in the right hip, giving her time to scream before she was hit in the arm and head.

Nel has said he will wrap up his case against Pistorius this week after calling four or five more witnesses to support his contention that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument. The defense will then present its case.

Judicial officials say the trial will continue until May 16, with a recess in April.

Join the discussion

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Barbara March 24 2014 at 5:31 PM

Follow your instincts! When you feel fear from a "partner" - GET OUT! That your instinct warning you. The others got out and are still alive!

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ekofinally March 24 2014 at 1:15 PM

I think he might think the World will be sympathic to him because of his disability. He probably did have a short fuse

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2 replies
dreamweaver5580 ekofinally March 24 2014 at 1:42 PM

she isn't the first to have complained about his temper. He's guilty.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
noel ekofinally March 24 2014 at 2:49 PM

He has probably gotten away with a lot growing up because of his handicap, his family probably babied him and his siblings took the blame for things he did...well, ain't no one who can take the blame for this murder, and he needs to pay for it...HIMSELF!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
pasqual4 March 24 2014 at 5:15 PM

what a puny defense...he took the bat to the door before he shot her, bcs he could not get in the bathroom.........duh....fry him. snake.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
ninomitchell March 24 2014 at 1:28 PM

Not looking so good for the runner.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
darth6847 March 24 2014 at 1:29 PM

I hope young women learn from this sad situation. Yes, the guy may be attractive but he has major issues that no matter how hot you are will not disappear.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
dreamweaver5580 darth6847 March 24 2014 at 1:39 PM

WTH does how attractive he is have to do with anything? If he goes free, I wonder who would date him in their right mind?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
3 replies
impexlink March 24 2014 at 1:31 PM

This guy should have been happy and feeling blessed have a beautiful, supportive and intelligent woman considering being legless, angry, jealous, with the kind of rage in him. Whilst his lawyers are trying to save him, I hope the jury doesn't buy into the attorneys lies/excuse and fantasy argument

Flag Reply +1 rate up
3 replies
Dick March 24 2014 at 1:35 PM

Let's face it...the guy is toast!!! He would be better off to plead guilty and throw himself on the mercy of the court!!! He has a side to him that is evil, mean and out of control and he killed her on purpose, he should get the death penalty!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
naughtynnice252 March 24 2014 at 5:08 PM

He did it , he was mad and killed this poor woman, no way was this an accident!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
genove3 March 24 2014 at 1:48 PM

A murderer, to be sure.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Chuck March 24 2014 at 1:10 PM


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