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
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
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.
Roux also showed CCTV footage from nine days before Steenkamp's
death that showed the couple kissing in a convenience store,
followed by another text exchange between them.
"I miss you one more than you miss me," the message from Pistorius
Pistorius' lower legs were amputated as a baby but he went on to
achieve global fame as the "fastest man on no legs," winning gold
medals at the Beijing and London Paralympics.
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He also won a battle against athletics authorities for the right to
compete against able-bodied men, becoming the first amputee runner
at an Olympics when he reached the 400 meters semi-finals in London
The court adjourned until Friday, when the defense will start
revealing its own argument and evidence in support of Pistorius'
The 27-year-old is expected to take the stand in his own defense — a
high-stakes gamble that could backfire if holes start to emerge in
the version of events he submitted in sworn testimony at his bail
hearing a year ago.
If found guilty of murder, he faces at least 25 years in prison.
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by Joe Brock)
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