A rather distraught Oscar Pistorius preferred not to look at a daunting photo of his slain girlfriend’s bloodied head Wednesday, telling a prosecutor through tears, “I don’t have to look at a picture. I was there.”
“It’s time that you look at it,” chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel said during a fierce first day of cross-examination in which he doggedly pressed the double-amputee Olympian to “take responsibility” for killing Reeva Steenkamp.
The 27-year-old Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder in the Valentine’s Day 2013 shooting of Steenkamp, who was hit three times — in the head, arm and hip — as she cowered behind a locked toilet door. Pistorius says he shot the 29-year-old model and law school graduate by mistake, thinking she was a dangerous intruder.
Gasps could be heard in the courtroom in Pretoria, South Africa, from spectators, including the dead woman’s mother, June, when the police photo suddenly appeared on multiple TV screens showing Steenkamp’s head turned to the side, her blonde hair drenched in blood and a mass of tissue on the back and upper parts of her skull, her eyes closed.
The mother of the deceased, June Steenkamp, however is enraged at the public display of the gruesome photos of her daughter. June in between sobs revealed that she doesn’t care if the accused walked away from this trial free as that won’t bring her dead daughter back, but wonders as she stares at his reaction all day if the grief he portrays is real.
The Chief prosecutor has vowed to prove Oscar’s grief as a bluff as he claims the accused is just acting out and is lying to the jury.