PRETORIA, South Africa — The chief prosecutor in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial Wednesday urged the athlete to "take responsibility" for fatally shooting his girlfriend, telling him to look at a police photograph of Reeva Steenkamp's bloodied head with gruesome wounds.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Steenkamp's head "exploded" when it was struck by one of four hollow-point bullets that the double-amputee runner fired through a closed toilet door in his home last year. The photograph showed a side view of Steenkamp's head, with a mass of blood and human tissue on the back and upper parts. Her eyes were closed.
"It's time that you look at it," Nel said on the first day of cross-examination of Pistorius.
"I remember," Pistorius said, becoming distraught and turning away from where the photo was shown on a TV screen next to him. "I will not look at a picture where I'm tormented by what I saw and felt that night. As I picked Reeva up, my fingers touched her head. I remember. I don't have to look at a picture, I was there."
Nel had set the stage for a rigorous cross-examination by demanding that Pistorius openly say he killed his girlfriend, sharply challenging him when he said he made a "mistake."