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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.

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jlcfenton March 24 2014 at 12:19 PM

It has been proven that she was alive and screaming and he continued to fire. He is guilty.

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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

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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!!!

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genove3 March 24 2014 at 1:48 PM

A murderer, to be sure.

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email.kelli March 24 2014 at 1:53 PM

He's such a liar ... They had gotten ready for bed, he took off his prosthesis (exot into an argument, she locked herself in the bathroom, he tried to break the door down with the cricket bat (whatever it's called), and when he couldn't get in and/or she wouldn't come out, he shot her through the door.

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Kay March 24 2014 at 1:55 PM

Please pay attention. This trial isn't being tried by a JURY,---only a JUDGE. Yes, I agree the judge
should give him the maximum sentence times 1000 for what he has done. Playing the handicap
card just won't work either. Not having legs has nothing to do with not using his BRAIN!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
yivvy148 March 24 2014 at 2:01 PM

The story references that numerous texts reference that Reeva was fearful of Pistotious but inly ONE text is actually referenced. Also, are there witnesses, such as friends or family members who can testify about direct discussions concerning her fears or abusive behavior?

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1 reply
slanted mofo yivvy148 March 24 2014 at 2:33 PM

Only one text may have been referenced but the content of that text is clear - she refers to multiple incidents of him having outbursts which resulted in her sometimes being afraid of him.

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Steven March 24 2014 at 2:07 PM

Well I think the first place I would go if I was an intruder in someones home would be THE BATHROOM ???? I think he needs to come up with a better story than that. The guy definitely is guilty.

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1 reply
RSHta Steven March 24 2014 at 2:23 PM

Right to go "hide" in the bathroom, when someone gets upin the middle of the night...probably to go to the bathroom..........seems almost laughable. He needs to rethink his excuses.....

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Anne Boleyns Crown March 24 2014 at 2:15 PM

Hope he spends the rest of his angry life in a jail cell. He robbed a woman of her life and her family of her love.

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tessa March 24 2014 at 2:15 PM

don't you all worry about oscar, i'm sure he'll be very popular fellow in a s. african prison

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1 reply
mygailbaby tessa March 24 2014 at 2:26 PM

Why? Because he will be with other White prisoners, right? If you think he will be serving any time in a Black prison then you are clueless. Sorry.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
Al mygailbaby March 24 2014 at 2:55 PM

he is taking the old college try.......he is trying to use his fame to beat this.....the only thing he will beat is his dick in jail,,,,,,,,

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