Pistorius trial: Prosecution rests case

PRETORIA - The prosecution rested its case Tuesday in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius after 15 days and 21 witnesses, setting the stage for the South African sprinter to take the stand in his own defense as soon as Friday.

Pistorius is likely to be the first defense witness called.

Pistorius, 27, is accused of intentionally murdering his girlfriend, the cover model Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day last year. She was 29.

He admits shooting and killing her but insists he mistook her for a burglar in his house.

Before the state rested, the court was treated to the bizarre spectacle of two middle-aged men reading out lovey-dovey texts between Pistorius and Steenkamp as the defense tried to show the couple were happy together.

Defense attorney Barry Roux had a police cell phone officer read dozens of chat messages where Steenkamp called Pistorius "baby," "baba," "angel" and "rockstar."

Whenever the officer, Capt. Francois Moller, failed to vocalize the "xxx" in a message, Roux interjected: "Kiss kiss kiss."

In one exchange, Steenkamp asked Pistorius if she could wear a leopard-print dress to an event. He replied, "Ja I love that and you look amazing in it."

The two men also read out messages from Steenkamp to Pistorius saying, "you never cramp my style," calling him "a nice guy" and saying she wanted to cook for him on Valentine's Day.

She never got the chance. By dinnertime that night, she was dead.

Roux was fighting to counter the impression left by perhaps the most dramatic testimony of the trial, a text message in which Steenkamp said she was sometimes afraid of Pistorius.

"I'm scared of you sometimes and how u snap at me and of how you will react to me," she texted him in a long WhatsApp message less than a month before she died, according to Moller.

He downloaded chat messages between the two after the Olympic athlete killed the model.

Roux pointed out that Moller had found only four arguments out of more than 1,700 texts between Steenkamp and Pistorius.

In an affectionate exchange on February 11, three days before her death, Steenkamp messaged Pistorius: "Lots of hugs I hope you have a super blessed day i have said a small prayer for both of us xxx"

He responded: "Thank you so much for being strong angel that message means a lot. I'm going to take your advice...miss you x"

Roux also was allowed by the judge to show CCTV footage of Steenkamp and Pistorius at a shop that shows them acting as a loving couple on February 4.

But after the defense finished with Moller, prosecutor Gerrie Nel pointed out that the only long texts were the ones where Steenkamp expressed her unhappiness.

He also pointed out that there was no record of a response from Pistorius to a long message from Steenkamp ending: "I can't be attacked by outsiders for dating you and be attacked by you -- the one person I deserve protection from."

Comments (4)

It is very unfortunate ,intentional or unintentional the fact remains he killed her. No one has a right to end one"s life.It is painful for both parents. Steenkamp is "my daughter" AND Pretorius "my son" life

mariyeti mpala - 26 March 2014

he did it..intentionally

THE TRUTH - 27 March 2014

he shd rot in jail because he might kill again sure i couldnt believe the way he stood with blood all over as if ubehlinza u Reeva blood was all over in the house he is a muderer. He knew very well what he was doing

Nqwa - 29 March 2014

Pretorius killed the woman. What a bluff he is putting on. Only he and only he knows what went on behind closed doors. A cold blooded killer. Lord have mercy.

aronael renlim - 1 April 2014

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