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Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, on April 15, 2014. / Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters

Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius' legal nemesis bore into the track star during the final day of cross-examination in his murder trial Tuesday, rejecting Pistorius' claims that he accidentally shot his model-girlfriend in the predawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel grilled Pistorius for five days in a South Africa courtroom, repeatedly dismissing his claims that he was terrified an intruder was hiding in his bathroom.

Pistorius testified he shouted at the intruder, "Get the (expletive) out of my house." But Nel claimed Pistorius was actually swearing at girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and demanding that she leave.

Nel argued that the couple had quarreled and that Steenkamp had fled to the bathroom screaming before enraged Pistorius intentionally shot her through the bathroom door with his 9mm handgun.

He asked Pistorius to again recount his actions when he entered the bathroom and found Steenkamp, sitting on the floor with her arm atop the toilet bowl.

"I crouched over her, I put my arm underneath her, I put my left arm under her right arm and I checked to see if she had a pulse," said Pistorius, his voice quivering. "Then I didn't feel that she (had a pulse), so I pulled her on to me. ... When I saw Reeva there, I was broken, I was overcome with sadness."

Nel scoffed at that, repeatedly telling Pistorius he was concocting a story to explain the evidence and that the events as he described them made little sense.

Nel said the couple fought during the night and Steenkamp wanted to leave, then fled to the bathroom screaming before Pistorius shot her through the door with his pistol. Pistorius said he never heard Steenkamp scream or say anything in the minutes before he shot her.

The prosecutor charged that Pistorius fired the four shots from about 3 yards away from Steenkamp as he was talking and arguing with her, and changed his aim with later shots to ensure he hit her as she fell back.

Nel closed his cross-examination Tuesday by inviting Pistorius to take the blame for shooting Steenkamp, but the runner steered away from a direct response, saying only that he opened fire because he thought his life was under threat. That remark drew barbed follow-up questions from the prosecutor.

"We should blame somebody. ? Should we blame Reeva?" Nel asked. And later: "Who should we blame for the Black Talon rounds that ripped through her body?"

When the cross-examination ended, Pistorius rubbed his eyes and briefly sank his head into the shoulder of a man who comforted him. He took a tissue from his sister, Aimee, who squeezed his arm reassuringly.

Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

Contributing: The Associated Press



Copyright 2014usa today

Read the original story: Embattled Pistorius wraps up murder trial testimony

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