Oscar Pistorius is lying about the events that led to his shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, said the chief prosecutor repeatedly attacking his credibility at his murder trial Thursday.
“Your version is so improbable that nobody would ever think it’s reasonably possibly true,” Gerrie Nel said. “It’s impossible.”
Pistorius declined an opportunity to respond to that statement from Nel.
Instead, Pistorius said items in his bedroom must have been moved by crime-scene workers to comply with the sequence of events shortly before he fatally shot Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Pistorius, being cross-examined for the second day at his murder trial in South Africa on Thursday, said a fan, quilt and curtains shown in a police photograph were moved.
Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder locked in his bathroom when he shot four times through a locked door, hitting and killing her inside. Nel claims Pistorius and Steenkamp had an argument and she “ran away screaming” before he killed her.
Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder. If not found guilty of premeditated murder, he could be convicted of culpable homicide, South Africa’s version of manslaughter for negligent killing.
On Thursday, Pistorius was questioned about his recollection of the night of Steenkamp’s death. He said he was lying on her stomach and fell asleep, then woke up in the middle of the night feeling hot.
“I sat up in bed,” Pistorius said. “I put my head down, my hands on my head and rubbed my face. Reeva asked me if I couldn’t sleep. I said I can’t.”
He said he then got out of bed without his prosthetic legs on, brought two fans inside from his balcony, closed and locked doors to the balcony and closed curtains. Pistorius has said he then heard a noise in his bathroom that led to the shooting.
Pistorius said Thursday he didn’t see or hear Steenkamp get out of bed and enter the bathroom. He didn’t know how or when she get out of bed.
“It was pitch black and it was behind me,” Pistorius said. “I had the fans blowing in my face.”
Pistorius said he didn’t know how many shots he fired — four — until somebody told him afterward.
“If Reeva had come out or spoken to me, I wouldn’t have fired,” he said.
Nel also questioned Pistorius about text messages with Steenkamp, including one that referred to a song by rapper Kendrick Lamar. Nel said Steenkamp objected to Pistorius playing a Lamar song on a car stereo.
A text message from Steenkamp stated, “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other bitch you may know trying to kill your vibe.”
“I don’t know Kendrick Lamar,” Nel said. “But what song are we talking about. … Is it, ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe?’ Isn’t that the song?”
Pistorius didn’t know which song it was but was sure Steenkamp would have taken offense to a song with those lyrics. Nel painted a picture of Pistorius as a sometimes mean, egotistical boyfriend.
“Your life is just about you — what’s good for Oscar,” Nel said. “It was all about Mr. Pistorius. That was what your relationship was about.”
Pistorius said he never got the chance to tell Steenkamp he loved her and detailed how his life changed after the shooting.
“For weeks afterwards I slept,” he said. “I didn’t see anyone. I stayed in my room. I didn’t converse with anyone. I didn’t socialize. … I didn’t have much communication. I actually didn’t even have my phone. The state had my phones. So I didn’t have numbers, and I didn’t converse with many people.”
The trial is scheduled to resume at 3:30 a.m. ET on Friday with more cross-examining from Nel.