The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

April 11, 2014

Prosecutor: Pistorius' story doesn't add up

— PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The prosecutor cross-examining Oscar Pistorius in his murder trial Friday tried to shred his version of events the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, saying they do not add up and go against how people would react in the situation the double-amputee Olympian has described.

Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for Reeva Steenkamp's shooting death. He claims he shot the model by mistake, thinking she was an intruder about to come out the toilet and attack him. The state says he intentionally killed her by firing his pistol through a closed toilet door after they had an argument in the predawn hours of Valentine's Day last year.

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel led the Paralympic champion through his own account of what happened in those moments before he shot Steenkamp. Pistorius said he heard a noise in the bathroom and moved down a passageway on his stumps toward the bathroom with his pistol while screaming to his girlfriend to get down from the bed and call the police. Pistorius says he then heard a noise in the toilet that he perceived to be the sound of wood on wood, which he said made him think someone was opening the toilet door to attack him. And then, Pistorius said, he opened fire.

At each stage, Nel argued that the account was improbable, questioning why Pistorius did not establish where Steenkamp was and make sure she was OK, why he would approach the alleged danger zone if he felt vulnerable on his stumps, why Steenkamp would not respond to him and why an intruder would close himself in a toilet stall.

"If you spoke to Reeva, the two of you could have taken lots of other steps," Nel said, adding that they could have merely left the bedroom.

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