Pistorius trial: Court adjourns early as athlete sobs during testimony

Oscar Pistorius struggled throughout his testimony on Tuesday. (USATSI)

The court adjourned early on Tuesday as former Olympian Oscar Pistorius was unable to keep his emotions in check, sobbing loudly as he testified at the murder trial of his former girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius was describing the scene after he fired four bullets through his bathroom door that struck and killed Steenkamp. Pistorius has maintained that he thought he was firing at an intruder, however prosecutors assert that the double-amputee sprinter intentionally tried to kill his girlfriend after an argument.

“I sat over Reeva and I cried,” Pistorius recalled after breaking down the door to reveal his girlfriend fatally shot in his bathroom stall. “I don’t know how long I was there for.” Steenkamp, a model and reality TV star, was 29. Pistorius is 27.

The runner said that he immediately searched for Steenkamp after firing the shots, looking in the bedroom and checking the floor where he thought she might be hiding.

“It was at that point … that it first dawned on me that maybe it was Reeva in the toilet,” he said on Tuesday. Next he claimed he screamed for help. “I don’t think I’ve ever screamed like that. … I was crying out for the Lord to help me. I was crying out for Reeva.” He then testified how he broke down the door with a cricket bat before finding Steenkamp slumped over.

Pistorius could face a life sentence if found guilty of premeditated murder. 

While crying on the witness stand, Pistorius’ siblings attempted to comfort him as he recounted Valentine’s Day 2013, the day he fatally shot Steenkamp. Pistorius has pled not guilty in response to the murder charge and has denied three other charges related to recklessly using a gun. 

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