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Prosecutor ends cross-examination of Pistorius



By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA and GERALD IMRAY


Apr. 15, 2014 6:18 AM EDT
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, wrapping up five days of cross-examination Tuesday of the Olympian, insisted that he intentionally shot his girlfriend to death as they argued.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said he had no further questions after presenting the prosecution's case that Pistorius is lying in his account of mistakenly shooting Reeva Steenkamp in the predawn hours of Valentine's Day last year. Nel said the double-amputee runner killed her intentionally after an argument.

In the adjournment after his cross-examination, Pistorius rubbed his eyes and briefly sank his head into the shoulder of a man who comforted him. He took a tissue from his sister Aimee, who squeezed his arm reassuringly. Shortly afterward, he listened attentively as Barry Roux, his chief lawyer, spoke to him in a low voice.

Throughout the grueling cross-examination, Nel accused Pistorius of "tailoring" evidence and "concocting" a story that he shot out of fear of an intruder in a toilet cubicle in his bathroom in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day last year.

Nel said the couple fought during the night and Steenkamp wanted to leave, then fled to the bathroom screaming before Pistorius shot her through the door with his 9 mm pistol. Pistorius said he never heard Steenkamp scream, or say anything in the minutes before he shot her.

The prosecutor even charged that Pistorius fired the four shots from about three meters (yards) away from Steenkamp as he was talking and arguing with Steenkamp, and changed his aim with later shots to ensure he hit her as she fell back. Nel's unrelenting questioning and accusations provoked many denials by Pistorius and caused the athlete to break down in sobs on numerous occasions.

The athlete says that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder about to come out of the toilet to attack him. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

Over the past week, Pistorius came under intense pressure from Nel who accused the world-famous disabled athlete of lying in the witness box. Pistorius has struggled at times to explain alleged inconsistencies during his testimony.

Nel closed his cross-examination Tuesday by inviting Pistorius to take the blame for shooting Steenkamp, but the runner steered away from a direct response, saying only that he opened fire because he believed his life was under threat. That remark drew barbed follow-up questions from the prosecutor.

"We should blame somebody ... Should we blame Reeva?" asked Nel, who has harshly criticized Pistorius as someone who is unwilling to take responsibility.

"No, my lady," Pistorius replied, addressing the judge in line with court custom.

"She never told you she was going to the toilet," Nel said. Then he asked: "Should we blame the government?"

When Pistorius responded with another reference to a perceived attacker in his toilet, Nel asked: Who should we blame for the Black Talon rounds that ripped through her body?"

He abandoned his line of questioning soon after the judge questioned whether he was asking the same thing in a different way. Nel summed up by saying Pistorius intentionally killed Steenkamp.

Pistorius remained in the witness box while Roux asked him a series of follow-up questions.


Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination

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hankbask April 15 2014 at 10:59 AM

First thing a man does when and IF he hears an intruder is guards his loved ones and makes sure they are in a safe place. Then he gets his weapon and tells his loved ones his intentions. Then he finds a safe vantage point from which to view and aim at the intruder when the intruder emerges from hiding. Therefore, all this nonsense does not add up. An intruder does not corner themselves in where they can be attacked, with no chance for escape. Even then, one shot will tell Pistolorius what to do next. If there is cry of surrender, a slumping sound, or a shot fired back. Two, three, four shots more are not necessary. None of this adds up. Reports have circulated that he was jealous of her friendship with another man, an old friend. He was insecure about his prospects long term with this beautiful woman, and even jealous of her. Losing her would have been an insult to him which he could not envision overcoming. He had no legs. He didn't want her to be with anyone else, or worry that she would leave him broken hearted. Add his Roid Rage and gun enthusiasm, jealousy and insecurity, and you have THIS situation. Reeva Steenkamp was lured to her death. Both her and Pistolius' cell phones were found with her in the toilet. There was mention of him carrying on with another woman and she went to check his text messages in the privacy of the toilet. When he discovered what she was doing, he followed her to the toilet and threatened her with a gun . The rest is history.

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3 replies
deejam58 April 15 2014 at 11:24 AM

Dear Sonya, keep on the subject and keep racial comments out of it...also, check your spelling..

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thunderboatsuzy April 15 2014 at 11:30 AM

pathetic this judge will let this bastard get off with this murder .

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1 reply
Susan thunderboatsuzy April 15 2014 at 12:49 PM

Why on earth would you say that? She has reprimanded him several times. I see no indication that she is buying his story.

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queencelt April 15 2014 at 11:44 AM

Abusive men always blame the victim ("She shouldn't have made me mad! She made me do it!" )

Unfortunately, many people still believe that a woman is responsible for being attacked by a man. Pistorius does have sympathizers.

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1 reply
scottsotter queencelt April 15 2014 at 11:53 AM

who pulled the trigger

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MICHAEL April 15 2014 at 12:24 PM

i find it somehow ironic that "he was thinking about her safety", but never bothered to look for her and then winds up shooting her dead.

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camilampert April 15 2014 at 10:10 AM

Would an intruder go into the bathroom and close the door? If she wasn't in bed wouldn't you call out to see where she was? It always amazes me
how easily one can take anothers life, but pull out all stops to save their
own.

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1 reply
beasmommom camilampert April 15 2014 at 4:52 PM

Also, how did he know that the mysterious intruder didn't have Reeva in there with him with a knife to her throat. None of his story rings true.

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Ronnie-Grl April 15 2014 at 9:49 AM

He is a sniveling coward who shot and killed a defenseless woman, who now cries in front of a woman judge, who he probably sees as someone who is inferior to him, therefore would be moved by his tears. Oh, please let there be justice for Reeva.

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1 reply
Sonja Ronnie-Grl April 15 2014 at 11:01 AM

Dont worry my Dear, this Black Judge seen enough disjudgestman agains her Race from the Devil White Man.
Now she does can not hold that againgst any crimenal, but she is no fool, knowing his Gooze is cooked, therefore his White Ass will be taking care of in jail.
more Likely like America, there are pleny black Man in the slammer, the fix his pittyful white Ass.
Justice will be served.
spoken sincerly from a German Women/
Sonja Wolff.

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msnikki73 April 15 2014 at 10:43 AM

I have not heard a lot about his claim that he had to get the gun from her side of the bed but that particular night she was not sleeping on her side of the bed. How convenient.

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BERNIE April 15 2014 at 1:51 PM

the story he tells I just cannot understand, would he not know that she had left the bed - he was up he took the fans in from the deck and closed the windows - you did not see that she wsa not in the bed - how big a room was this. I just do not get it.

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2 replies
MatuArt BERNIE April 15 2014 at 3:04 PM

yes you do get it

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terry1email BERNIE April 15 2014 at 3:16 PM

In the waning days of the prosecutor's cross-examination, he subtly changed his strategy from self-defense to something resembling a temporary state of stupor, basically. Meaning, he wasn't in control of his full logical faculties at that moment. But people must be held responsible for acts of violence, regardless of whether or not it was intentional (which is was, by the way). So even if Oscar didn't intentionally kill her, he's still a menace to society and should not see the light of freedom anytime within at minimum the next 10 years, and afterward he needs to be locked up in a psych ward. We cannot allow hair-trigger animals like Oscar to roam the Earth free

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Carol April 15 2014 at 1:52 PM

only life in Prison will make him really understand what taking a life means!!!!!! How did he thin the intruder got into the toilet????? if it were an intruder he would have shot P on the way in to the toilet

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1 reply
terry1email Carol April 15 2014 at 3:13 PM

Nonsense. Intruders always go for the bathroom first. That's where all the valuables are, duh ;)

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