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Prosecutor ends cross-examination of Pistorius


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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john foote April 15 2014 at 11:09 AM

Who would fire a gun into a locked bathroom door without knowing who is inside; just call the police. He is guilty and should get the death sentence.

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Freddy Phifer April 15 2014 at 11:09 AM

The angle of the bullets when they entered the bathroon door, him without his legs on, the upward angle of the bullets alone should show the judge that he is lying. He had to have his legs on to stand that tall and shoot into the door the way he did. Lying to save you ass will get you convicted every single time, unless off course, you are OJ Simpson.

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oujoou April 15 2014 at 10:32 AM

I bet Pistol Pistorius wishes he had murdered the prosecutor instead of his girlfriend. :( I don't know if people have ever had this experience . . . but one time a mouse was in my room and it was licking my liquor flask which was on the bureau. I'd get up. He'd go away . . then come back like 2 minutes later. Then he got more bold . . .and I'd turn on the light and he'd be licking away and watching me at the same time. lol. So I picked up my bokken . . . which is a wooden sword and struck. There was this moment of 'blindness' and this deep feeling of power . . . striking with total commitment. AND this 'fiendish' joy in having done so. Criminals often think about killing someone when they are young. I think they are after this . . . umm . . . 'thrill.' It's not worth a life time in jail. AND the mouse got away. :)

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1 reply
queencelt oujoou April 15 2014 at 12:02 PM

Yes: power and control - the hallmarks of an abuser.

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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

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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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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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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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liquidsnakeny April 15 2014 at 11:10 AM

First of all, he is a control freak. They had a history of an abusive relationship. It was only a matter of time before an abusive relationship turns deadly. He deserves a jail sentence for what he did. Explain this: 1) how does a person who keeps a gun in his dresser, which by the way is near the bed, not see someone in their own bed? He just had an fight with her and she ran out of the bedroom crying and screaming. The way most people react to intruders in their home is to let them know that they have a gun and are not afraid to use it. Even a gun collector would give a warning that they have a gun, something this idiot did not do. 2) Did he have enemies that were trying to hurt him? (FYI - he is a native of south Africa. It's not like he' a tourist.) He does have a history of threatening reva with a gun in the past, so it was bound to happen. I believe he snapped and had to kill her. Final verdict: GUILTY!!!

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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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