Oscar Pistorius. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/POOL
State prosecutors have wrapped up their case against South
African track star Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of
murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's
Day last year.
Prosecutors are seeking to prove that the Olympic and
Paralympic athlete tried to kill Steenkamp deliberately by
firing four rounds from a 9 mm pistol through a locked toilet
door after a heated argument.
Pistorius, nicknamed the "Blade Runner" due to his
carbon-fibre prosthetic limbs, has pleaded not guilty, saying
he was deeply in love with 29-year-old Steenkamp and that he
mistook her for an intruder hiding in a toilet at his luxury
Defence lawyers spent much of the day going through some of
the thousands of text messages the pair sent each other in
the weeks before Steenkamp's death to focus on their "loving
A day earlier, police expert Francois Moller read out a
series of retrieved messages that painted a picture of a
volatile, stormy relationship, with Steenkamp accusing
Pistorius of continual jealousy and outbursts of anger.
"I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of
how you will react to me," one message sent by Steenkamp on
Jan. 27, 2013 said.
Moller said despite the arguments, 90 percent of the messages
were normal, often loving, interactions.
Defence lawyer Barry Roux pointed to an exchange on January
19 in which Steenkamp sent Pistorius a photo of herself
blowing a kiss into the camera, followed by the question:
"You like it?"
"I love it," Pistorius replied.
Roux also showed CCTV footage from nine days before
Steenkamp's death that showed the couple kissing in a
convenience store, followed by another text exchange between
"I miss you one more than you miss me," the message from
Pistorius' lower legs were amputated as a baby but he went on
to achieve global fame as the "fastest man on no legs,"
winning gold medals at the Beijing and London Paralympics.
He also won a battle against athletics authorities for the
right to compete against able-bodied men, becoming the first
amputee runner at an Olympics when he reached the 400 metres
semi-finals in London 2012.
The court adjourned until Friday, when the defence will start
revealing its own argument and evidence in support of
The 27-year-old is expected to take the stand in his own
defence - a high stakes gamble that could backfire if holes
start to emerge in the version of events he submitted in
sworn testimony at his bail hearing a year ago.
If found guilty of murder, he faces at least 25 years in