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Pistorius breaks down on stand, forcing adjournment of murder trial

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 5:33 p.m.
 

PRETORIA, South Africa — Oscar Pistorius broke down in sobs and howls while testifying at his murder trial on Tuesday, forcing the court to adjourn as the former Olympian was describing the moments he said he first realized he had shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home.

“I sat over Reeva, and I cried,” Pistorius said, telling how he broke open the stall door in his bathroom last year to discover his mortally wounded girlfriend slumped over in the cubicle. “I don't know how long I was there for.”

Pistorius has said he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder in his bathroom. Tuesday marked the first time he has spoken publicly on the details of the fatal shooting. Prosecutors call Pistorius' story an intricate lie and maintain he intentionally killed his 29-year-old girlfriend, a model and reality TV show star, after an argument.

Pistorius pleaded not guilty to murder at the start of his trial and denied in earlier testimony three other charges against him relating to firing a gun in public on two occasions, and illegal possession of ammunition. On one of the counts, two witnesses have testified that Pistorius recklessly shot a gun out of a moving car in September 2012. Pistorius said: “It never happened.”

Pistorius also said he wasn't to blame for a shot going off in a busy Johannesburg restaurant because a friend handed him an “unsafe” gun with a bullet in the chamber under the table, Pistorius said.

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