Pistorius Testifies: 'I Was Trying To Protect Reeva'

More than a year after the double amputee track star fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, Pistorius took the stand in his murder trial.
Posted at 11:51 AM, Apr 07, 2014

The courtroom in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial finally heard from the case’s only eyewitness.

“I was simply trying to protect Reeva. I can promise you that when she went to bed that night she felt loved." (Via ITN)  

It’s been more than a year since Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Last month, he pleaded not guilty to murdering her. (ViaChannel 4

Pistorius admits to shooting Steenkamp through the locked bathroom door of his home, but he says he was acting in self-defense thinking she was an intruder.

Taking the stand for the first time, Pistorius told Steenkamp’s family he was only trying to protect their daughter. While he can’t be seen on camera, you can hear his apology. (Via The Telegraph

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize.” (Via SABC)

Pistorius said nightmares now keep him up at night, and he’s taking anti-depressant and sleeping pills to cope.  (Via CBS

He also talked about growing up with a disability and explained his mother kept a gun under her pillow because she was afraid of intruders. A reporter for the BBC explains the defense is likely trying to paint a picture of a man who was quite vulnerable despite his fame. 

 ​"It's all about his psychology. How he was raised and the fact that he was disabled, and had to go for prosthetic legs. And he grew up to be a very strong man who was able to stand up for himself." (Via BBC)

State prosecutors, on the other hand, have sought to portray Pistorius as a trigger-happy, angry boyfriend. They've shown text messages that suggested Pistorius was often jealous and critical of Steenkamp. (Via Sky News

Also Monday, a forensic analyst described Steenkamp's multiple bullet wounds, and Pistorius was reportedly visibly upset. (Via CCTV)

Reporters in the courtroom say he gagged and weeped. (Via Twitter / @RohitKachrooITV)

Pistorius is also charged with three firearm-related offenses. If convicted on the murder charge, he faces life in prison.