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Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the celebrated athlete had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.

A few minutes after he arrived, Stipp said, Pistorius went back upstairs – the area where he had shot the 29-year-old model – and returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

Stipp’s account in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through the toilet door, with prosecutors trying to build a case that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after a loud argument.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, thinking mistakenly that she was an intruder, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door. He said he finally gave up and bashed the door in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

On Thursday, as Stipp recalled the sometimes grisly details through questioning by the prosecutor, Pistorius bent forward on the wooden court bench and put his hand over his face. Clutching what appeared to be black rosary beads, Pistorius then moved his hands to cover both ears as Stipp described the scene at the athlete’s villa sometime after 3 a.m.

Pistorius stayed that way for a while in the courtroom, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head in an apparent gesture of reassurance.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” Stipp continued. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, Stipp said.

The chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Stipp if he thought Pistorius’ emotions as the runner knelt next to Steenkamp were genuine. Stipp said he thought they were.

“He looked sincere to me,” Stipp said of observing Pistorius minutes after he’d fatally shot his girlfriend. “He was crying. There were tears on his face.”

Prosecutors contend that a person who has just killed someone might immediately feel remorse.

Stipp, whose house is behind Pistorius’, said he had initially been woken by what he described as a woman’s screams. After calling private security at the gated community, he said he decided he should go and try to help.

When he arrived at Pistorius’ home, he saw that two other responders were already there – a man standing outside and a woman near the front door as he walked in. He said he rushed right past them and went inside to see if he could be of assistance.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp said of his first observations.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side. He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said. “She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the woman – even though he was fairly sure his efforts would be in vain. He noticed a wound in the woman’s right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Stipp didn’t know the man was Pistorius until later, he said. He had mistakenly thought Pistorius lived in a different house in the gated community.

Echoing the assertions of two other state witnesses in the trial, Stipp also maintained that he heard a woman’s screams before and around the time of the gunshots.

That is a significant issue in the case. Prosecutors say there was a fight between Pistorius and Steenkamp and that she was screaming before and perhaps during the shooting. Pistorius says he was the only one to scream, mainly after realizing he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake.

Roux, the defense lawyer, described the head wound as “terrible, serious, devastating,” arguing that Steenkamp could not have screamed during the gunfire because she would not have been able to.

“What I’m saying to you, when you heard screams, it could not have been the deceased,” Roux said to Stipp. “It’s medically impossible.”

It is unclear, however, which of the four shots struck Steenkamp’s head.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the celebrated athlete had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.

A few minutes after he arrived, Stipp said, Pistorius went back upstairs – the area where he had shot the 29-year-old model – and returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

Stipp’s account in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through the toilet door, with prosecutors trying to build a case that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after a loud argument.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, thinking mistakenly that she was an intruder, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door. He said he finally gave up and bashed the door in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

On Thursday, as Stipp recalled the sometimes grisly details through questioning by the prosecutor, Pistorius bent forward on the wooden court bench and put his hand over his face. Clutching what appeared to be black rosary beads, Pistorius then moved his hands to cover both ears as Stipp described the scene at the athlete’s villa sometime after 3 a.m.

Pistorius stayed that way for a while in the courtroom, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head in an apparent gesture of reassurance.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” Stipp continued. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, Stipp said.

The chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Stipp if he thought Pistorius’ emotions as the runner knelt next to Steenkamp were genuine. Stipp said he thought they were.

“He looked sincere to me,” Stipp said of observing Pistorius minutes after he’d fatally shot his girlfriend. “He was crying. There were tears on his face.”

Prosecutors contend that a person who has just killed someone might immediately feel remorse.

Stipp, whose house is behind Pistorius’, said he had initially been woken by what he described as a woman’s screams. After calling private security at the gated community, he said he decided he should go and try to help.

When he arrived at Pistorius’ home, he saw that two other responders were already there – a man standing outside and a woman near the front door as he walked in. He said he rushed right past them and went inside to see if he could be of assistance.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp said of his first observations.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side. He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said. “She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the woman – even though he was fairly sure his efforts would be in vain. He noticed a wound in the woman’s right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Stipp didn’t know the man was Pistorius until later, he said. He had mistakenly thought Pistorius lived in a different house in the gated community.

Echoing the assertions of two other state witnesses in the trial, Stipp also maintained that he heard a woman’s screams before and around the time of the gunshots.

That is a significant issue in the case. Prosecutors say there was a fight between Pistorius and Steenkamp and that she was screaming before and perhaps during the shooting. Pistorius says he was the only one to scream, mainly after realizing he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake.

Roux, the defense lawyer, described the head wound as “terrible, serious, devastating,” arguing that Steenkamp could not have screamed during the gunfire because she would not have been able to.

“What I’m saying to you, when you heard screams, it could not have been the deceased,” Roux said to Stipp. “It’s medically impossible.”

It is unclear, however, which of the four shots struck Steenkamp’s head.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the celebrated athlete had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.

A few minutes after he arrived, Stipp said, Pistorius went back upstairs – the area where he had shot the 29-year-old model – and returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

Stipp’s account in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through the toilet door, with prosecutors trying to build a case that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after a loud argument.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, thinking mistakenly that she was an intruder, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door. He said he finally gave up and bashed the door in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

On Thursday, as Stipp recalled the sometimes grisly details through questioning by the prosecutor, Pistorius bent forward on the wooden court bench and put his hand over his face. Clutching what appeared to be black rosary beads, Pistorius then moved his hands to cover both ears as Stipp described the scene at the athlete’s villa sometime after 3 a.m.

Pistorius stayed that way for a while in the courtroom, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head in an apparent gesture of reassurance.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” Stipp continued. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, Stipp said.

The chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Stipp if he thought Pistorius’ emotions as the runner knelt next to Steenkamp were genuine. Stipp said he thought they were.

“He looked sincere to me,” Stipp said of observing Pistorius minutes after he’d fatally shot his girlfriend. “He was crying. There were tears on his face.”

Prosecutors contend that a person who has just killed someone might immediately feel remorse.

Stipp, whose house is behind Pistorius’, said he had initially been woken by what he described as a woman’s screams. After calling private security at the gated community, he said he decided he should go and try to help.

When he arrived at Pistorius’ home, he saw that two other responders were already there – a man standing outside and a woman near the front door as he walked in. He said he rushed right past them and went inside to see if he could be of assistance.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp said of his first observations.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side. He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said. “She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the woman – even though he was fairly sure his efforts would be in vain. He noticed a wound in the woman’s right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Stipp didn’t know the man was Pistorius until later, he said. He had mistakenly thought Pistorius lived in a different house in the gated community.

Echoing the assertions of two other state witnesses in the trial, Stipp also maintained that he heard a woman’s screams before and around the time of the gunshots.

That is a significant issue in the case. Prosecutors say there was a fight between Pistorius and Steenkamp and that she was screaming before and perhaps during the shooting. Pistorius says he was the only one to scream, mainly after realizing he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake.

Roux, the defense lawyer, described the head wound as “terrible, serious, devastating,” arguing that Steenkamp could not have screamed during the gunfire because she would not have been able to.

“What I’m saying to you, when you heard screams, it could not have been the deceased,” Roux said to Stipp. “It’s medically impossible.”

It is unclear, however, which of the four shots struck Steenkamp’s head.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the celebrated athlete had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.

A few minutes after he arrived, Stipp said, Pistorius went back upstairs – the area where he had shot the 29-year-old model – and returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

Stipp’s account in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through the toilet door, with prosecutors trying to build a case that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after a loud argument.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, thinking mistakenly that she was an intruder, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door. He said he finally gave up and bashed the door in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

On Thursday, as Stipp recalled the sometimes grisly details through questioning by the prosecutor, Pistorius bent forward on the wooden court bench and put his hand over his face. Clutching what appeared to be black rosary beads, Pistorius then moved his hands to cover both ears as Stipp described the scene at the athlete’s villa sometime after 3 a.m.

Pistorius stayed that way for a while in the courtroom, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head in an apparent gesture of reassurance.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” Stipp continued. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, Stipp said.

The chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Stipp if he thought Pistorius’ emotions as the runner knelt next to Steenkamp were genuine. Stipp said he thought they were.

“He looked sincere to me,” Stipp said of observing Pistorius minutes after he’d fatally shot his girlfriend. “He was crying. There were tears on his face.”

Prosecutors contend that a person who has just killed someone might immediately feel remorse.

Stipp, whose house is behind Pistorius’, said he had initially been woken by what he described as a woman’s screams. After calling private security at the gated community, he said he decided he should go and try to help.

When he arrived at Pistorius’ home, he saw that two other responders were already there – a man standing outside and a woman near the front door as he walked in. He said he rushed right past them and went inside to see if he could be of assistance.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp said of his first observations.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side. He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said. “She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the woman – even though he was fairly sure his efforts would be in vain. He noticed a wound in the woman’s right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Stipp didn’t know the man was Pistorius until later, he said. He had mistakenly thought Pistorius lived in a different house in the gated community.

Echoing the assertions of two other state witnesses in the trial, Stipp also maintained that he heard a woman’s screams before and around the time of the gunshots.

That is a significant issue in the case. Prosecutors say there was a fight between Pistorius and Steenkamp and that she was screaming before and perhaps during the shooting. Pistorius says he was the only one to scream, mainly after realizing he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake.

Roux, the defense lawyer, described the head wound as “terrible, serious, devastating,” arguing that Steenkamp could not have screamed during the gunfire because she would not have been able to.

“What I’m saying to you, when you heard screams, it could not have been the deceased,” Roux said to Stipp. “It’s medically impossible.”

It is unclear, however, which of the four shots struck Steenkamp’s head.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the celebrated athlete had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.

A few minutes after he arrived, Stipp said, Pistorius went back upstairs – the area where he had shot the 29-year-old model – and returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

Stipp’s account in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through the toilet door, with prosecutors trying to build a case that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after a loud argument.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, thinking mistakenly that she was an intruder, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door. He said he finally gave up and bashed the door in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

On Thursday, as Stipp recalled the sometimes grisly details through questioning by the prosecutor, Pistorius bent forward on the wooden court bench and put his hand over his face. Clutching what appeared to be black rosary beads, Pistorius then moved his hands to cover both ears as Stipp described the scene at the athlete’s villa sometime after 3 a.m.

Pistorius stayed that way for a while in the courtroom, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head in an apparent gesture of reassurance.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” Stipp continued. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, Stipp said.

The chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Stipp if he thought Pistorius’ emotions as the runner knelt next to Steenkamp were genuine. Stipp said he thought they were.

“He looked sincere to me,” Stipp said of observing Pistorius minutes after he’d fatally shot his girlfriend. “He was crying. There were tears on his face.”

Prosecutors contend that a person who has just killed someone might immediately feel remorse.

Stipp, whose house is behind Pistorius’, said he had initially been woken by what he described as a woman’s screams. After calling private security at the gated community, he said he decided he should go and try to help.

When he arrived at Pistorius’ home, he saw that two other responders were already there – a man standing outside and a woman near the front door as he walked in. He said he rushed right past them and went inside to see if he could be of assistance.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp said of his first observations.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side. He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said. “She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the woman – even though he was fairly sure his efforts would be in vain. He noticed a wound in the woman’s right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Stipp didn’t know the man was Pistorius until later, he said. He had mistakenly thought Pistorius lived in a different house in the gated community.

Echoing the assertions of two other state witnesses in the trial, Stipp also maintained that he heard a woman’s screams before and around the time of the gunshots.

That is a significant issue in the case. Prosecutors say there was a fight between Pistorius and Steenkamp and that she was screaming before and perhaps during the shooting. Pistorius says he was the only one to scream, mainly after realizing he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake.

Roux, the defense lawyer, described the head wound as “terrible, serious, devastating,” arguing that Steenkamp could not have screamed during the gunfire because she would not have been able to.

“What I’m saying to you, when you heard screams, it could not have been the deceased,” Roux said to Stipp. “It’s medically impossible.”

It is unclear, however, which of the four shots struck Steenkamp’s head.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the celebrated athlete had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.

A few minutes after he arrived, Stipp said, Pistorius went back upstairs – the area where he had shot the 29-year-old model – and returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

Stipp’s account in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through the toilet door, with prosecutors trying to build a case that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after a loud argument.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, thinking mistakenly that she was an intruder, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door. He said he finally gave up and bashed the door in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

On Thursday, as Stipp recalled the sometimes grisly details through questioning by the prosecutor, Pistorius bent forward on the wooden court bench and put his hand over his face. Clutching what appeared to be black rosary beads, Pistorius then moved his hands to cover both ears as Stipp described the scene at the athlete’s villa sometime after 3 a.m.

Pistorius stayed that way for a while in the courtroom, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head in an apparent gesture of reassurance.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” Stipp continued. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, Stipp said.

The chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Stipp if he thought Pistorius’ emotions as the runner knelt next to Steenkamp were genuine. Stipp said he thought they were.

“He looked sincere to me,” Stipp said of observing Pistorius minutes after he’d fatally shot his girlfriend. “He was crying. There were tears on his face.”

Prosecutors contend that a person who has just killed someone might immediately feel remorse.

Stipp, whose house is behind Pistorius’, said he had initially been woken by what he described as a woman’s screams. After calling private security at the gated community, he said he decided he should go and try to help.

When he arrived at Pistorius’ home, he saw that two other responders were already there – a man standing outside and a woman near the front door as he walked in. He said he rushed right past them and went inside to see if he could be of assistance.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp said of his first observations.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side. He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said. “She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the woman – even though he was fairly sure his efforts would be in vain. He noticed a wound in the woman’s right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Stipp didn’t know the man was Pistorius until later, he said. He had mistakenly thought Pistorius lived in a different house in the gated community.

Echoing the assertions of two other state witnesses in the trial, Stipp also maintained that he heard a woman’s screams before and around the time of the gunshots.

That is a significant issue in the case. Prosecutors say there was a fight between Pistorius and Steenkamp and that she was screaming before and perhaps during the shooting. Pistorius says he was the only one to scream, mainly after realizing he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake.

Roux, the defense lawyer, described the head wound as “terrible, serious, devastating,” arguing that Steenkamp could not have screamed during the gunfire because she would not have been able to.

“What I’m saying to you, when you heard screams, it could not have been the deceased,” Roux said to Stipp. “It’s medically impossible.”

It is unclear, however, which of the four shots struck Steenkamp’s head.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the celebrated athlete had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.

A few minutes after he arrived, Stipp said, Pistorius went back upstairs – the area where he had shot the 29-year-old model – and returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

Stipp’s account in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through the toilet door, with prosecutors trying to build a case that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after a loud argument.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, thinking mistakenly that she was an intruder, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door. He said he finally gave up and bashed the door in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

On Thursday, as Stipp recalled the sometimes grisly details through questioning by the prosecutor, Pistorius bent forward on the wooden court bench and put his hand over his face. Clutching what appeared to be black rosary beads, Pistorius then moved his hands to cover both ears as Stipp described the scene at the athlete’s villa sometime after 3 a.m.

Pistorius stayed that way for a while in the courtroom, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head in an apparent gesture of reassurance.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” Stipp continued. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, Stipp said.

The chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Stipp if he thought Pistorius’ emotions as the runner knelt next to Steenkamp were genuine. Stipp said he thought they were.

“He looked sincere to me,” Stipp said of observing Pistorius minutes after he’d fatally shot his girlfriend. “He was crying. There were tears on his face.”

Prosecutors contend that a person who has just killed someone might immediately feel remorse.

Stipp, whose house is behind Pistorius’, said he had initially been woken by what he described as a woman’s screams. After calling private security at the gated community, he said he decided he should go and try to help.

When he arrived at Pistorius’ home, he saw that two other responders were already there – a man standing outside and a woman near the front door as he walked in. He said he rushed right past them and went inside to see if he could be of assistance.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp said of his first observations.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side. He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said. “She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the woman – even though he was fairly sure his efforts would be in vain. He noticed a wound in the woman’s right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Stipp didn’t know the man was Pistorius until later, he said. He had mistakenly thought Pistorius lived in a different house in the gated community.

Echoing the assertions of two other state witnesses in the trial, Stipp also maintained that he heard a woman’s screams before and around the time of the gunshots.

That is a significant issue in the case. Prosecutors say there was a fight between Pistorius and Steenkamp and that she was screaming before and perhaps during the shooting. Pistorius says he was the only one to scream, mainly after realizing he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake.

Roux, the defense lawyer, described the head wound as “terrible, serious, devastating,” arguing that Steenkamp could not have screamed during the gunfire because she would not have been able to.

“What I’m saying to you, when you heard screams, it could not have been the deceased,” Roux said to Stipp. “It’s medically impossible.”

It is unclear, however, which of the four shots struck Steenkamp’s head.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the celebrated athlete had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.

A few minutes after he arrived, Stipp said, Pistorius went back upstairs – the area where he had shot the 29-year-old model – and returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

Stipp’s account in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through the toilet door, with prosecutors trying to build a case that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after a loud argument.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, thinking mistakenly that she was an intruder, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door. He said he finally gave up and bashed the door in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

On Thursday, as Stipp recalled the sometimes grisly details through questioning by the prosecutor, Pistorius bent forward on the wooden court bench and put his hand over his face. Clutching what appeared to be black rosary beads, Pistorius then moved his hands to cover both ears as Stipp described the scene at the athlete’s villa sometime after 3 a.m.

Pistorius stayed that way for a while in the courtroom, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head in an apparent gesture of reassurance.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” Stipp continued. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, Stipp said.

The chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Stipp if he thought Pistorius’ emotions as the runner knelt next to Steenkamp were genuine. Stipp said he thought they were.

“He looked sincere to me,” Stipp said of observing Pistorius minutes after he’d fatally shot his girlfriend. “He was crying. There were tears on his face.”

Prosecutors contend that a person who has just killed someone might immediately feel remorse.

Stipp, whose house is behind Pistorius’, said he had initially been woken by what he described as a woman’s screams. After calling private security at the gated community, he said he decided he should go and try to help.

When he arrived at Pistorius’ home, he saw that two other responders were already there – a man standing outside and a woman near the front door as he walked in. He said he rushed right past them and went inside to see if he could be of assistance.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp said of his first observations.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side. He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said. “She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the woman – even though he was fairly sure his efforts would be in vain. He noticed a wound in the woman’s right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Stipp didn’t know the man was Pistorius until later, he said. He had mistakenly thought Pistorius lived in a different house in the gated community.

Echoing the assertions of two other state witnesses in the trial, Stipp also maintained that he heard a woman’s screams before and around the time of the gunshots.

That is a significant issue in the case. Prosecutors say there was a fight between Pistorius and Steenkamp and that she was screaming before and perhaps during the shooting. Pistorius says he was the only one to scream, mainly after realizing he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake.

Roux, the defense lawyer, described the head wound as “terrible, serious, devastating,” arguing that Steenkamp could not have screamed during the gunfire because she would not have been able to.

“What I’m saying to you, when you heard screams, it could not have been the deceased,” Roux said to Stipp. “It’s medically impossible.”

It is unclear, however, which of the four shots struck Steenkamp’s head.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled Pistorius saying. The worried neighbor had entered Pistorius’ home after hearing screams. By that time, the celebrated athlete had carried Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied body downstairs following the fatal nighttime shooting in his bathroom.

A few minutes after he arrived, Stipp said, Pistorius went back upstairs – the area where he had shot the 29-year-old model – and returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

Stipp’s account in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through the toilet door, with prosecutors trying to build a case that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after a loud argument.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by his lawyer that after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, thinking mistakenly that she was an intruder, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door. He said he finally gave up and bashed the door in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

On Thursday, as Stipp recalled the sometimes grisly details through questioning by the prosecutor, Pistorius bent forward on the wooden court bench and put his hand over his face. Clutching what appeared to be black rosary beads, Pistorius then moved his hands to cover both ears as Stipp described the scene at the athlete’s villa sometime after 3 a.m.

Pistorius stayed that way for a while in the courtroom, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head in an apparent gesture of reassurance.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” Stipp continued. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, Stipp said.

The chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, asked Stipp if he thought Pistorius’ emotions as the runner knelt next to Steenkamp were genuine. Stipp said he thought they were.

“He looked sincere to me,” Stipp said of observing Pistorius minutes after he’d fatally shot his girlfriend. “He was crying. There were tears on his face.”

Prosecutors contend that a person who has just killed someone might immediately feel remorse.

Stipp, whose house is behind Pistorius’, said he had initially been woken by what he described as a woman’s screams. After calling private security at the gated community, he said he decided he should go and try to help.

When he arrived at Pistorius’ home, he saw that two other responders were already there – a man standing outside and a woman near the front door as he walked in. He said he rushed right past them and went inside to see if he could be of assistance.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp said of his first observations.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side. He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said. “She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the woman – even though he was fairly sure his efforts would be in vain. He noticed a wound in the woman’s right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Stipp didn’t know the man was Pistorius until later, he said. He had mistakenly thought Pistorius lived in a different house in the gated community.

Echoing the assertions of two other state witnesses in the trial, Stipp also maintained that he heard a woman’s screams before and around the time of the gunshots.

That is a significant issue in the case. Prosecutors say there was a fight between Pistorius and Steenkamp and that she was screaming before and perhaps during the shooting. Pistorius says he was the only one to scream, mainly after realizing he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake.

Roux, the defense lawyer, described the head wound as “terrible, serious, devastating,” arguing that Steenkamp could not have screamed during the gunfire because she would not have been able to.

“What I’m saying to you, when you heard screams, it could not have been the deceased,” Roux said to Stipp. “It’s medically impossible.”

It is unclear, however, which of the four shots struck Steenkamp’s head.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“‘I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,’” radiologist Johan Stipp recalled Pistorius saying in the minutes after the fatal shooting for which the celebrated athlete is on trial for murder.

A few minutes later, Stipp said, Pistorius went upstairs – the area where he had shot Reeva Steenkamp – and then returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

The testimony in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, by the Olympian in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day – last year.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by lawyer Barry Roux that, after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door before finally giving up and bashing it in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her bloodied body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said as he described what he saw at Pistorius’ villa. “At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the shot woman.

“I tried to assist her.” Stipp said. “I tried to open an airway.”

“She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made,” Stipp said.

Sitting on a courtroom bench, Pistorius bent forward and put his hand over his face, then moved them to cover both ears, as Stipp spoke. He stayed that way for a while, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side,” Stipp said under questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel. “He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

Stipp, who said he didn’t know that man was Pistorius until later, said he tried to help but Steenkamp showed no signs of life. Stipp said he noticed a wound in her right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Pistorius is charged with murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through a toilet door in his home. Prosecutors said the athlete intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument, but Pistorius says it was a mistake because he thought she was an intruder.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” he said. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, according to Stipp.

Pistorius, who ran at the 2012 Olympics on carbon fiber blades that brought him to be known as the Blade Runner, is charged with premeditated murder. The state has to prove its case against Pistorius completely to convict, while his defense can focus on casting doubt.

Pistorius’ lead defense lawyer, Roux, mainly avoided the gruesome details of Steenkamp’s injuries, saying he did not want to be “graphic.”

The head shot was “terrible, serious, devastating,” Roux said as he began his cross-examination of Stipp, a prosecution witness.

However, three witnesses, including Stipp, have now testified to hearing a woman screaming in Pistorius’ home, apparently boosting the case against Pistorius that there was a fight between the couple and Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally.

“I’m convinced that I heard a lady’s voice,” Charl Johnson, another neighbor, said earlier Thursday.

Stipp also said he believed a woman was screaming in Pistorius’ home that night, which Pistorius’ team says did not happen.

“I heard the woman screaming. I tried to ascertain … where it was coming from,” Stipp said at the start of his testimony.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“‘I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,’” radiologist Johan Stipp recalled Pistorius saying in the minutes after the fatal shooting for which the celebrated athlete is on trial for murder.

A few minutes later, Stipp said, Pistorius went upstairs – the area where he had shot Reeva Steenkamp – and then returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

The testimony in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, by the Olympian in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day – last year.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by lawyer Barry Roux that, after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door before finally giving up and bashing it in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her bloodied body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said as he described what he saw at Pistorius’ villa. “At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the shot woman.

“I tried to assist her.” Stipp said. “I tried to open an airway.”

“She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made,” Stipp said.

Sitting on a courtroom bench, Pistorius bent forward and put his hand over his face, then moved them to cover both ears, as Stipp spoke. He stayed that way for a while, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side,” Stipp said under questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel. “He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

Stipp, who said he didn’t know that man was Pistorius until later, said he tried to help but Steenkamp showed no signs of life. Stipp said he noticed a wound in her right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Pistorius is charged with murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through a toilet door in his home. Prosecutors said the athlete intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument, but Pistorius says it was a mistake because he thought she was an intruder.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” he said. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, according to Stipp.

Pistorius, who ran at the 2012 Olympics on carbon fiber blades that brought him to be known as the Blade Runner, is charged with premeditated murder. The state has to prove its case against Pistorius completely to convict, while his defense can focus on casting doubt.

Pistorius’ lead defense lawyer, Roux, mainly avoided the gruesome details of Steenkamp’s injuries, saying he did not want to be “graphic.”

The head shot was “terrible, serious, devastating,” Roux said as he began his cross-examination of Stipp, a prosecution witness.

However, three witnesses, including Stipp, have now testified to hearing a woman screaming in Pistorius’ home, apparently boosting the case against Pistorius that there was a fight between the couple and Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally.

“I’m convinced that I heard a lady’s voice,” Charl Johnson, another neighbor, said earlier Thursday.

Stipp also said he believed a woman was screaming in Pistorius’ home that night, which Pistorius’ team says did not happen.

“I heard the woman screaming. I tried to ascertain … where it was coming from,” Stipp said at the start of his testimony.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“‘I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,’” radiologist Johan Stipp recalled Pistorius saying in the minutes after the fatal shooting for which the celebrated athlete is on trial for murder.

A few minutes later, Stipp said, Pistorius went upstairs – the area where he had shot Reeva Steenkamp – and then returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

The testimony in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, by the Olympian in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day – last year.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by lawyer Barry Roux that, after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door before finally giving up and bashing it in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her bloodied body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said as he described what he saw at Pistorius’ villa. “At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the shot woman.

“I tried to assist her.” Stipp said. “I tried to open an airway.”

“She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made,” Stipp said.

Sitting on a courtroom bench, Pistorius bent forward and put his hand over his face, then moved them to cover both ears, as Stipp spoke. He stayed that way for a while, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side,” Stipp said under questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel. “He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

Stipp, who said he didn’t know that man was Pistorius until later, said he tried to help but Steenkamp showed no signs of life. Stipp said he noticed a wound in her right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Pistorius is charged with murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through a toilet door in his home. Prosecutors said the athlete intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument, but Pistorius says it was a mistake because he thought she was an intruder.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” he said. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, according to Stipp.

Pistorius, who ran at the 2012 Olympics on carbon fiber blades that brought him to be known as the Blade Runner, is charged with premeditated murder. The state has to prove its case against Pistorius completely to convict, while his defense can focus on casting doubt.

Pistorius’ lead defense lawyer, Roux, mainly avoided the gruesome details of Steenkamp’s injuries, saying he did not want to be “graphic.”

The head shot was “terrible, serious, devastating,” Roux said as he began his cross-examination of Stipp, a prosecution witness.

However, three witnesses, including Stipp, have now testified to hearing a woman screaming in Pistorius’ home, apparently boosting the case against Pistorius that there was a fight between the couple and Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally.

“I’m convinced that I heard a lady’s voice,” Charl Johnson, another neighbor, said earlier Thursday.

Stipp also said he believed a woman was screaming in Pistorius’ home that night, which Pistorius’ team says did not happen.

“I heard the woman screaming. I tried to ascertain … where it was coming from,” Stipp said at the start of his testimony.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“‘I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,’” radiologist Johan Stipp recalled Pistorius saying in the minutes after the fatal shooting for which the celebrated athlete is on trial for murder.

A few minutes later, Stipp said, Pistorius went upstairs – the area where he had shot Reeva Steenkamp – and then returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

The testimony in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, by the Olympian in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day – last year.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by lawyer Barry Roux that, after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door before finally giving up and bashing it in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her bloodied body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said as he described what he saw at Pistorius’ villa. “At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the shot woman.

“I tried to assist her.” Stipp said. “I tried to open an airway.”

“She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made,” Stipp said.

Sitting on a courtroom bench, Pistorius bent forward and put his hand over his face, then moved them to cover both ears, as Stipp spoke. He stayed that way for a while, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side,” Stipp said under questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel. “He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

Stipp, who said he didn’t know that man was Pistorius until later, said he tried to help but Steenkamp showed no signs of life. Stipp said he noticed a wound in her right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Pistorius is charged with murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through a toilet door in his home. Prosecutors said the athlete intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument, but Pistorius says it was a mistake because he thought she was an intruder.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” he said. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, according to Stipp.

Pistorius, who ran at the 2012 Olympics on carbon fiber blades that brought him to be known as the Blade Runner, is charged with premeditated murder. The state has to prove its case against Pistorius completely to convict, while his defense can focus on casting doubt.

Pistorius’ lead defense lawyer, Roux, mainly avoided the gruesome details of Steenkamp’s injuries, saying he did not want to be “graphic.”

The head shot was “terrible, serious, devastating,” Roux said as he began his cross-examination of Stipp, a prosecution witness.

However, three witnesses, including Stipp, have now testified to hearing a woman screaming in Pistorius’ home, apparently boosting the case against Pistorius that there was a fight between the couple and Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally.

“I’m convinced that I heard a lady’s voice,” Charl Johnson, another neighbor, said earlier Thursday.

Stipp also said he believed a woman was screaming in Pistorius’ home that night, which Pistorius’ team says did not happen.

“I heard the woman screaming. I tried to ascertain … where it was coming from,” Stipp said at the start of his testimony.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

“‘I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,’” radiologist Johan Stipp recalled Pistorius saying in the minutes after the fatal shooting for which the celebrated athlete is on trial for murder.

A few minutes later, Stipp said, Pistorius went upstairs – the area where he had shot Reeva Steenkamp – and then returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

The testimony in a Pretoria court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, by the Olympian in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day – last year.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by lawyer Barry Roux that, after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door before finally giving up and bashing it in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her bloodied body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said as he described what he saw at Pistorius’ villa. “At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the shot woman.

“I tried to assist her.” Stipp said. “I tried to open an airway.”

“She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made,” Stipp said.

Sitting on a courtroom bench, Pistorius bent forward and put his hand over his face, then moved them to cover both ears, as Stipp spoke. He stayed that way for a while, even when one of his lawyers reached back and touched him on the head.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side,” Stipp said under questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel. “He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

Stipp, who said he didn’t know that man was Pistorius until later, said he tried to help but Steenkamp showed no signs of life. Stipp said he noticed a wound in her right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Pistorius is charged with murder after shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through a toilet door in his home. Prosecutors said the athlete intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument, but Pistorius says it was a mistake because he thought she was an intruder.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” he said. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, according to Stipp.

Pistorius, who ran at the 2012 Olympics on carbon fiber blades that brought him to be known as the Blade Runner, is charged with premeditated murder. The state has to prove its case against Pistorius completely to convict, while his defense can focus on casting doubt.

Pistorius’ lead defense lawyer, Roux, mainly avoided the gruesome details of Steenkamp’s injuries, saying he did not want to be “graphic.”

The head shot was “terrible, serious, devastating,” Roux said as he began his cross-examination of Stipp, a prosecution witness.

However, three witnesses, including Stipp, have now testified to hearing a woman screaming in Pistorius’ home, apparently boosting the case against Pistorius that there was a fight between the couple and Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally.

“I’m convinced that I heard a lady’s voice,” Charl Johnson, another neighbor, said earlier Thursday.

Stipp also said he believed a woman was screaming in Pistorius’ home that night, which Pistorius’ team says did not happen.

“I heard the woman screaming. I tried to ascertain … where it was coming from,” Stipp said at the start of his testimony.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

‘”I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,’”radiologist Johan Stipp recalled Pistorius saying.

A few minutes later, Stipp said, Pistorius went upstairs – the area where he had shot Reeva Steenkamp – and then returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

The testimony in a provincial court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, by the Paralympic champion in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day – last year.

At his bail hearing last year, Pistorius said in a statement read by Roux that, after he realized he had shot Steenkamp, he pulled on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the toilet door before finally giving up and bashing it in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over but still alive. He said he lifted her bloodied body and carried her downstairs to seek medical help.

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said as he described what he saw at Pistorius’ villa. “At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor.”

As a radiologist, Stipp is a medical doctor with years of study, and he said he used his expertise to try to save the shot woman.

“I tried to assist her.” Stipp said. “I tried to open an airway.”

Sitting on a courtroom bench, Pistorius bent forward and put his hand over his face, then moved them to cover both ears, as Stipp spoke. He stayed that way for a while, even when one of his lawyers reached back and, in a gesture of reassurance, touched him on the head.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side,” Stipp said under questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel. “He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

Stipp, who said he didn’t know that man was Pistorius until later, said he tried to help but Steenkamp showed no signs of life. Stipp said he noticed a wound in her right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Pistorius is charged with shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through a toilet door in his home. Prosecutors said the athlete intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument, but Pistorius says it was a mistake and he thought she was an intruder.

“She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made,” Stipp said.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” he said. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, according to Stipp.

Pistorius, who ran at the 2012 Olympics on his prosthetic legs and who was known as the Blade Runner, is charged with premeditated murder.

Pistorius’ lead defense lawyer started the fourth day of the trial by cross-examining another neighbor and questioning whether the man heard a woman screaming and then gunshots on the night Steenkamp died.

The neighbor, Charl Johnson, said he also owned a gun, a 9mm pistol, and knew what gunfire sounded like.

“I can confidently say I heard gunshots,” Johnson insisted on cross-examination by Barry Roux. Later, Johnson said: “I’m convinced that I heard a lady’s voice.”

Roux says the banging sounds were actually Pistorius hitting a toilet door with a cricket bat and the screaming was the distressed athlete calling for help – and there were no sounds from Steenkamp who had been shot in the head.

The sequence of events soon after 3 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 14 last year is a critical aspect of the case. Prosecutors say there was a loud argument between Pistorius and Steenkamp before the shooting. Pistorius says there was no argument and that he had thought Steenkamp was in bed when he fired through the locked toilet stall door.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — As the girlfriend he shot lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.

‘”I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,’”radiologist Johan Stipp recalled Pistorius saying.

A few minutes later, Stipp said, Pistorius went upstairs – the area where he had shot Reeva Steenkamp – and then returned. At that point, Stipp said he was concerned that the gun used in the shooting had not been recovered and that a distraught Pistorius was going to harm himself. The testimony did not address what Pistorius did when he went upstairs.

The testimony in a provincial court was the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, by the Paralympic champion in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day – last year.

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” Stipp said as he described what he saw at Pistorius’ villa.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” he testified.

Sitting on a courtroom bench, Pistorius bent forward and put his hand over his face, then moved them to cover both ears, as Stipp spoke. He stayed that way for a while, even when one of his lawyers reached back and, in a gesture of reassurance, touched him on the head.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side,” Stipp said under questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel. “He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth.”

Stipp, who said he didn’t know that man was Pistorius until later, said he tried to help but Steenkamp showed no signs of life. Stipp said he noticed a wound in her right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Pistorius is charged with shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through a toilet door in his home. Prosecutors said the athlete intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument, but Pistorius says it was a mistake and he thought she was an intruder.

“She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made,” Stipp said.

“Oscar was crying all the time,” he said. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live, according to Stipp.

Pistorius, who ran at the 2012 Olympics on his prosthetic legs and who was known as the Blade Runner, is charged with premeditated murder.

Pistorius’ lead defense lawyer started the fourth day of the trial by cross-examining another neighbor and questioning whether the man heard a woman screaming and then gunshots on the night Steenkamp died.

The neighbor, Charl Johnson, said he also owned a gun, a 9mm pistol, and knew what gunfire sounded like.

“I can confidently say I heard gunshots,” Johnson insisted on cross-examination by Barry Roux. Later, Johnson said: “I’m convinced that I heard a lady’s voice.”

Roux says the banging sounds were actually Pistorius hitting a toilet door with a cricket bat and the screaming was the distressed athlete calling for help – and there were no sounds from Steenkamp who had been shot in the head.

The sequence of events soon after 3 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 14 last year is a critical aspect of the case. Prosecutors say there was a loud argument between Pistorius and Steenkamp before the shooting. Pistorius says there was no argument and that he had thought Steenkamp was in bed when he fired through the locked toilet stall door.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius shook slightly, his hands covering his ears as a neighbor described in court Thursday how the famous athlete knelt next to his dead or dying girlfriend, praying as he tried to help Reeva Steenkamp breathe.

The testimony in high court in Pistorius’ murder trial was riveting and was the first detailed public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, by the double-amputee Paralympic champion in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day – last year.

“It was obvious that she was mortally wounded,” said Johan Stipp, a radiologist, as he described what he saw at Pistorius’ villa. Stipp said he was one of the first there.

“At the bottom of the stairs … there was a lady lying on her back on the floor,” Stipp testified.

Sitting on a courtroom bench on Thursday, Pistorius bent forward and put his hand over his face, then moved them to cover both ears. He stayed that way for a while, even when one of his lawyers reached back to reassure him and touch him on the head.

“I went near her and as I bent down, I also noticed a man on the left kneeling by her side,” Stipp said under questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel. “He had his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand, the second and third fingers in her mouth. I remember the first thing he said when I got there was `I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her.’”

Stipp, who said he didn’t know that man was Pistorius until later, said he tried to help, but that he knew it was probably no good because Steenkamp showed no signs of life. Stipp said he noticed a wound in her right thigh, in her upper arm and in the right side of the head, and there was brain tissue around the skull.

Pistorius is charged with shooting Steenkamp three times out of four shots through a toilet door in his home. Prosecutors said the athlete intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument but Pistorius says it was a mistake.

“She had no pulse in the neck, she had no peripheral pulse. She had no breathing movements that she made,” Stipp said. “Oscar was crying all the time,” he said. “He was praying to God, `Please let her live.’”

“Oscar said he would dedicate “his life and her life to God” if she would live and not die that night, according to Stipp.

Pistorius, who ran at the 2012 Olympics on his prosthetic legs and who was known as the Blade Runner, is charged with murder with premeditation.

Pistorius’ lead defense lawyer started the fourth day of the trial by cross-examining another neighbor and questioning whether the man heard a woman screaming and then gunshots on the night Steenkamp died.

The neighbor, Charl Johnson, said he also owned a gun, a 9mm pistol, and knew what gunfire sounded like.

“I can confidently say I heard gunshots,” Johnson insisted on cross-examination by Barry Roux. Later, Johnson said: “I’m convinced that I heard a lady’s voice.”

Roux says the banging sounds were actually Pistorius hitting a toilet door with a cricket bat and the screaming was the distressed athlete calling for help – and there were no sounds from Steenkamp who had been shot in the head.

Johnson said he “disputed” some of what Roux was saying and described in more detail what he heard on the night Pistorius shot his girlfriend to death. Johnson and his wife live around 177 meters from Pistorius’ villa.

“The fear … in the lady person’s calls contrasted with a very monotone male voice,” Johnson testified. “The man almost sounded embarrassed to be calling for help.”

Johnson also said the timing of the bangs didn’t match a repeated bat swing. He said it would have taken Pistorius more time to swing the bat repeatedly, and that the bangs he heard were closer together.

Roux did get Johnson to concede that he never heard what he thought was the woman’s voice and the man’s voice at the same time. Roux wants to show that it was the same person, Pistorius, screaming.

The sequence of events soon after 3 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 14 last year is a critical aspect of the case. Prosecutors say there was a loud argument between Pistorius and Steenkamp before the shooting. Pistorius says there was no argument and that he had thought Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, was in bed when he fired through the locked toilet stall door.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP