(PRETORIA, South Africa) — Tears streamed down Oscar Pistorius’ cheeks Tuesday as he heard loving messages from Reeva Steenkamp read out in his murder trial.
The Blade Runner, accused of murdering Steenkamp before dawn on Valentine’s Day 2013, ignored the tears for much of the testimony, and his attentive manner was in sharp contrast to the many days he has plugged his ears with his fingers during more grisly testimony.
Prosecutors called police Capt. Francois Moller to the stand Monday to illustrate the couple’s relationship was marked by angry exchanges with Steenkamp writing in text pulled from the couple’s phones that she was “scared” of Pistoius, going so far at one point to write that she was “scared out of my mind” by his temper sometimes.
But under cross examination Tuesday by defense lawyer Barry Roux, Moller read out message after message of tender, loving, supporting exchanges between Pistorius and Steenkamp.
On Feb. 11, three days before she was shot, Steenkamp wrote: “I’m always on your side but mostly pro us and the health of our relationship.”
Another message from her ended “I have said a small prayer for both of us.”
“Kiss, kiss, kiss,” Roux added, reading from a written copy of the messages.
Moller testified Tuesday that affectionate messages made up at least 90 percent of the exchanges as Roux tried to create a different picture from that created when messages read out in court Monday portrayed an possessive and critical Pistorius who threw temper tantrums.
Roux also showed store surveillance video of the couple kissing and behaving in a playful manner in a convenience store just days before the shooting.
The defense lawyer also got Moller to contradict the testimony of security guard Pieter Baba. Baba had told the court that he first called Pistorius after the shooting, but the cellphone records indicate that Pistorius first called security and that a return call was made several seconds later.
According to the phone records, Pistorius called Johan Stander, security manager at the Silver Woods security estate first, then an ambulance, the security control room, his friend Justin Divaris, his brother Carl and his agent Peet van Zyl.
Pistorius, 27, could face at least 25 years in prison if convicted of murder. He claims that he shot Steenkamp through his locked bathroom door because he mistook her for an intruder.
In the meantime, a fake Facebook page called “Oscar Pistorius Official” has been soliciting money from people. Pistorius’ legal team and media manager have been trying to close the page down.
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