|Pistorius' Version of Shooting 'Improbable,' Prosecutor Says|
|By DAN GOOD (@DGood73) and LIEZL THOM||Apr 10, 2014, 5:04 AM|
The prosecutor grilling Oscar Pistorius scoffed today at his explanations for what happened the night he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, saying it was "so improbable" that no one could believe it was true.
During a day of questioning that was at times testy and sarcastic, prosecutor Gerrie Nel got Pistorius to repeatedly deny blame for killing Steenkamp or having a gun discharge in a restaurant and denying an accusation that he once fired a gun out the sunroof of a car.
After recounting how Pistorius did not think it was "negligent" to have left his gun wrapped in a towel on a boat while he went swimming, Nel exclaimed, “It’s the strangest day today. You just don’t take responsibility for anything. You just don’t do anything wrong.”
Earlier, Nel ridiculed Pistorius for opening his defense with an apology to Steenkamp's family, saying he had no regard for the feelings of Steenkamp’s relatives and could have apologized in private -- but instead he waited more than a year, wanting to create a spectacle at court.
“I don’t think they’d ever want to meet me,” Pistorius said, his voice shaky. “I completely understand where they are coming from.”
Nel pressed the athlete -- who’s known as Blade Runner because of his prosthetic legs -- to properly apologize for killing Steenkamp.
“I am terribly sorry I took the life of their daughter,” Pistorius said.
Pistorius, 27, could face at least 25 years in prison if convicted of murdering Steenkamp. The paralympian claims that he fired through a locked bathroom during killing his girlfriend before dawn on Valentine's Day 2013 because he mistook her for a burglar.
Nel was openly incredulous while taking Pistorius through a detailed account of what happened the night he killed Steenkamp, at one point telling the defendant, "Your version is so improbable that nobody would think it is reasonably true."
Nel read passages from the couple's text messages aloud, choosing messages that appeared to show Pistorius acting moody, rude or emotionally indifferent.
"Your life is just about you, about what's important to Oscar," Nel said to Pistorius.
The prosecutor drew laughs from the gallery when he cited a message from Pistorius to Steenkamp where Pistorius mentioned a song that had upset her earlier in the day. Nel explained to the court that the song was, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe.” Nel repeated the title several times during his line of questioning.
Nel also asserted that the text messages on Steenkamp's phone only contained the phrase "I love you" on two occasions, both in messages she wrote to her mother. Those words were never used between Pistorius and Steenkamp, Nel said.
"I never got the opportunity to tell Reeva that I loved her," Pistorius said.
Nel extended his disbelief to an incident in which Pistorius is accused of discharging a firearm inside a busy restaurant a month before Steenkamp was killed. Previous testimony said the gun discharged when a friend was passing the weapon to Pistorius under the table. Pistorius today responded to a question about who pulled the trigger in the restaurant by saying he wasn't sure. Nel responded "You see, Mr. Pistorius, this is amazing. Really, you are amazing."
Pistorius defiantly replied, "The firearm went off whilst in my possession, but I can't say my finger was on the trigger." When asked repeatedly if he pulled the trigger, Pistorius insisted, "I didn't pull the trigger. I didn't have time to think."
Pistorius used this same line that he "didn't have time to think" when he described shooting through the bathroom door and killing Steenkamp.