Oscar Pistorius Finally Takes The Stand, Testifies He 'Can't Sleep' And Can Still 'Smell Blood'
As you might expect, Oscar Pistorius' murder trial is weighing heavily on the former Olympian. The South African athlete, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, took the stand Monday and tearfully apologized to Steenkamp's family and friends, later testifying that when he wakes up he can still "smell blood."
Pistorius has pleaded not guilty, and has claimed he thought Steenkamp, whom he shot at least three times through a bathroom door, was an intruder. After taking the stand Monday, Pistorius told the court he wanted to "start off my evidence by tendering an apology." He was so quiet that the judge told him he had to speak up.
While weeping on Monday, Pistorius said he now lives in depression and fear and takes sleeping pills and anti-depressants to help.
There’s not a moment and hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about her family. I can’t imagine the pain and emptiness and sorrow that I’ve caused your family. I was simply trying to protect Reeva. I can promise you that when she went to bed that night she felt loved.
... I wake up and I smell blood and I wake up to be terrified. I wake up in a complete state of terror. I would rather not sleep.
Prosecutors have repeatedly gone after the athlete's version of events. Pistorius said he began yelling after the shooting took place and realized it was Steenkamp in the bathroom. However, neighbors have testified that they heard yells during and prior to the shooting. Steenkamp may have been killed almost instantly once the shots began.
During expert testimony, which included graphic photos and descriptions of the murder scene, Pistorius has plugged his ears, vomited in a plastic bucket, cried, and covered his face.
Prosecutors have depicted Pistorius as a gun-obsessed man with a temper. However, Pistorius' defense attorneys have tried to show him as an emotional man who loved Steenkamp and had a tough upbringing.