Yahoo Sports is reporting that former South-African olympian, Oscar Pistorius, took the witness stand this morning in his own defense, saying the February 14, 2013 shooting death of his then-girlfriend; Reeva Steenkamp has left him “sleepless and plagued by nightmares”. Steenkamp was shot at least three times, once in the head, as Pistorius fired his handgun at the bathroom door believing an intruder had broken in.
“I was simply trying to protect Reeva”, Pistorius told the Pretoria High Court at the start of his testimony.
The 27-year old disabled track star then went on to testify that he’s been on anti-depressants and sleeping pills since the shooting, saying he is often woken up by nightmares from that fateful night.
“I’m scared to sleep. I have terrible nightmares about things that happened that night,” he said. “I wake up in a complete state of terror to the point that I would rather not sleep. There have been times when I’ve just been struggling a lot.”
He also spoke about his experiences growing up in South African environment, which was filled with crime.
“When we were growing up, we were exposed to crime – house break-ins, family members being assaulted and hijacked,” he said. “Many members of my family have been victims of house break-ins and violent crime.”
From the beginning, this case has seemed very unbelievable. I cannot understand how Pistorius was able to rise out of bed, make his way to a firing position, and then fire multiple shots at his closed bathroom door; all while never looking at the other side of the bed where Steenkamp would have been sleeping.
If he’s convicted of the murder, Pistorius will face a life sentence in prison. He has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all charges so, it will be very interesting to see whether Judge Thokozile Masipa believes his version of events, or he believes the prosecution’s claims that Pistorious is a gun-toting hothead who may have intentionally murdered his girlfriend in a rage.