Oscar Pistorius’s composure cracked on Tuesday as he heard graphic details of the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The paralympian’s trial for the premeditated murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, began in a Pretoria courtroom on Monday. Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder. His lawyer read a statement to the court denying the allegations of murder “in the strongest possible terms” and reaffirmed his position that the murder of Steenkamp had been a “tragic accident”.
The first witness, Dr Michelle Burger, one of Pistorius’s neighbours said she heard a woman screaming at about 3am on February 14, 2013. She said the screams sounded “very scared” and were “bloodcurdling”.
Barrister Barry Roux read the details from a medical report about where the injuries from the bullets were found on Steenkamp’s body. The court heard how the first bullet fired by Pistorius struck Steenkamp in the right thigh and the second missed her and instead got lodged in the bathroom wall. A third shot struck her in the shoulder, while the fourth struck her head.
Pistorius leaned forward in the dock and held his head in his hands as Roux read out the details of the post-mortem, including that “some fragments of the bullet” were removed from the 29-year-old’s head. At one point Pistorius covered his ears. – Kim Ravia
Image from Javier Sauras’s Flickr stream