Oscar Pistorius breaks down during trial for murder of Reeva Steenkamp

Listen: 5 days of Pistorius testimony ends

Defence wraps up its cross-examination of Pistorius after 5 emotional days on the stand


Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts as he sits in the dock during his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in Pretoria

After five days on the stand, defence has wrapped up its cross-examination of Oscar Pistorius. On the stand, Pistorius struggled to maintain his composure as he testified at his trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. From retching to sobbing, his outbursts have been so disruptive that Judge Thokozile Masipa has had to adjourn court to give him a chance to compose himself.

Steenkamp was shot four times in the early morning of Feb. 14, 2013, through a bathroom door at the athlete’s home. While Pistorius admits to shooting Steenkamp, he claims he thought she was an intruder—a version of the Valentine’s Day events that prosecutor Gerrie Nel says the athlete “concocted.” Over the past week, Nel poked holes in his story, and argued that Steenkamp’s death sprung from a fight that led her to run screaming into the bathroom to hide from Pistorius.

The cross examination in a courtroom in Pretoria, South Africa has seen Nel erupt into fits of laughter and push the athlete to tears, in an attempt to make a case for premeditated murder. As Nel showed the courtroom photos of Steenkamp’s body, he urged Pistorius to take responsibility for his actions. “I’ve taken responsibility, but I will not look at a picture where I’m tormented by what I saw and felt that night,” said Pistorius, as he began to sob. “As I picked Reeva up, my fingers touched her head. I remember.”

Pistorius, who uses prostheses on both legs, was the first amputee to compete in an Olympic track event at the 2012 London Olympics.

Here’s audio of the exchange between Nel and Pistorius on April 14, 2014.

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