Oscar Pistorius Prayed 'Please Let Her Live,' Witness Testifies

Oscar Pistorius had fingers in girlfriend's mouth to help her breathe.

March 06, 2014, 8:02 AM

PRETORIA, South Africa March 6, 2014— -- Oscar Pistorius and representatives of his slain girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, sobbed today as a neighbor recounted Steenkamp's death in graphic detail during the fourth day of the Blade Runner's murder trial.

Dr. Johan Stipp, a radiologist, testified that he went to Pistorius' house after hearing shots and screams on Valentine's night last year. He was one of the first people to arrive.

"At the bottom of the stairs ... there was a lady lying on her back on the floor," Stipp testified.

Stipp recalled the first thing Pistorius said when he arrived: "I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her."

"He [Pistorius] looked sincere to me. He was crying. There were tears on his face," Stipp said.

Stipp said he tried to help, but that he knew it was probably pointless because Steenkamp showed no signs of life. Stipp said he noticed a wound in her right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

"She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made," Stipp said.

Pistorius knelt by his girlfriend's side, praying, Stipp testified. "Oscar was crying, saying 'Please let her live.' He was saying he would dedicate his life to God if she will only live," Stipp said.

The doctor said Pistorius had his hand on one of her wounds and was trying in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth to clear her airway.

The night of the shooting, Stipp says he was concerned about Pistorius' state of mind.

"I was afraid Oscar would hurt himself," Stipp testified.

As Pistorius listened to Stipp's testimony, the athlete shook slightly as he sobbed, his hands covering his ears. It was at least the second time that Pistorius covered up his ears during grisly testimony about his girlfriend's wounds.

Elsewhere in the courtroom, at least one of Steenkamp's relatives also cried during Stipp's testimony.

The doctor's account marked the first detailed public description of the immediate aftermath of Steenkamp's Feb. 14, 2013 shooting. The emotion of the day appeared to weigh heavily on Pistorius, who fingered rosary beads in court today to mark the anniversary of his mother's passing.

The athlete sat with his hands covering his face as court adjourned. Pistorius' sister, Aimee, walked over to her brother and put her arms around him for comfort as they both cried.

Pistorius, 27, is charged with premeditated murder charge and several weapons counts. The Olympian said he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder and shot her through a bathroom door.

If he is convicted, Pistorius could face at least 25 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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