Pistorius trial: Grueling cross-examination ends for Olympian

Oscar Pistorius at Tuesday's trial. (Getty)

After five tense and grueling days, the cross-examination ended in Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial with the chief prosecuting officer asserting that the Olympian fired four shots “with the sole purpose of shooting and killing [Reeva Steenkamp].”

Gerrie Nel, the chief prosecuting lawyer, re-hashed how Pistorius’ version – specifically that he felt he was shooting at an intruder – was implausible and “untruthful.” Nel has harped on Pistorius’ character, recalling several incidents that appeared to show reckless judgment in an effort to demonstrate how the athlete could be lying.

If convicted of premeditated murder, Pistorius could face anywhere from 25 years to life in prison. Depending on intent, he could also be culpable for negligent killing.

Throughout much of the 23-day trial, Pistorius has been inconsolable, as graphic images of Steenkamp have been displayed for evidence. More than once, the double-amputee sprinter has lost his composure and vomited during vivid testimony. He remains resolute, though, that he shot Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 believing that she was an intruder.  

Pistorius recounted his version for the court. After shooting Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door, Pistorius broke through with a cricket bat to find his girlfriend slumped over in the stall. He said when he got to her she was still breathing.

“I was talking to her the whole time, saying baby please hold on.”

Pistorius’ defense attorney closed Tuesday’s session by having him read the Valentine’s Day card he received from Steenkamp.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, I think today is a good day to tell you that I love you,” Pistorius read aloud. 

The prosecution asked for a recess until May 5. The judge will announce on Wednesday whether that's been granted. 

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