Cross-examination of Pistorius begins in athlete's murder trial - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Cross-examination of Pistorius begins in athlete's murder trial

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A South African state prosecutor began cross-examining Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius Wednesday on the third day of the runner's testimony in his murder trial.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel maintains the athlete killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp deliberately after the two had an argument. Pistorius and his defense team maintain that he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar.

Earlier Wednesday, while under direct examination from his attorney, Barry Roux, Pistorius testified that Steenkamp died in his arms after he shot her in the bathroom of his upscale home in a Pretoria gated community.

The double-amputee runner returned to the witness stand after weeping and wailing Tuesday while describing the moments he said he realized he had fatally shot his girlfriend by mistake. He said he thought an intruder was in the house.

Pistorius mostly kept his composure Wednesday, though he often paused and his voice quavered in apparent distress while describing what he said were his desperate attempts to help the 29-year-old model after shooting her through the closed bathroom door.

"Reeva had died while I was holding her," Pistorius, 27, said after describing how he put his fingers in her mouth to try to help her breathe and put his hand on her hip to try to stop bleeding from one of several gunshot wounds.

Pistorius said he felt "helpless," and that he wanted to take Steenkamp to a hospital, but a neighbor advised him to wait for paramedics to arrive. Police later appeared on the scene.

"I asked a policeman if I could wash my hands because the smell of the blood was making me throw up," Pistorius said. "Every time I saw Reeva, I got sick. So I stayed more inside the kitchen. I sat in the pantry against the washing machine."

Pistorius was being led in questioning by chief defense lawyer Barry Roux and will later be cross-examined by Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder and could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of that charge.

Pistorius broke down Tuesday as he recalled bashing open the toilet door through which he shot Steenkamp in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013. He sobbed and howled in court, causing the trial to be adjourned.

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