Prosecution wraps up case against Pistorius in murder trial

Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:46am EDT
 
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PRETORIA (Reuters) - State prosecutors wrapped up their case on Tuesday 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-fiber 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 Pretoria home.

Defense lawyers spent much of Tuesday 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 relationship".

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 January 27, 2013 said.

Moller said despite the arguments, 90 percent of the messages were normal, often loving, interactions.

Defense 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.   Continued...

 
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/POOL