Prosecutor Rips Pistorius Case: He Meant 'to Kill'

Prosecution lays out its final arguments in the Pretoria murder trial
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2014 7:41 AM CDT
Prosecutor Rips Pistorius Case: He Meant 'to Kill'
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel gestures as the Oscar Pistorius murder trial resumes in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.   (AP Photo/Mujahid Safodien, Pool)

The prosecution is laying out its closing arguments in Oscar Pistorius' monthslong murder trial today, with the defense expected to wrap things up tomorrow. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, known as "the pitbull," began by ripping into Pistorius' claims that he acted in self-defense when shooting Reeva Steenkamp—who Pistorius says he thought was an intruder—and that he was "not criminally responsible" for the shooting because he was "startled," the AP reports. "It's two defenses that you can never reconcile," Nel said. Pistorius never once said the shooting was an accident because he "intended to kill," Nel said, per the Guardian. Nel noted that given the lack of imminent attack, Pistorius is still guilty of murder even if he did believe Steenkamp to be an intruder.

Nel also drew attention to the contents of Steenkamp’s stomach, which indicate she ate hours after Pistorius said the pair went to bed, and other inconsistencies in the runner's testimony. "All these lies caught him up," Nel said. He also noted the defense never tried to disprove the claim that a neighbor heard a woman's raised voice an hour before the gunshots. As to the defense's claim that Pistorius' screams sound like a woman's, Nel said there is a recording of Pistorius screaming but the defense didn't present it because it doesn't support their version of events. Judge Thokozile Masipa will likely inform the court tomorrow of when her decision can be expected. (Read more Oscar Pistorius stories.)

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