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Oscar Pistorius vomits in court during descriptions of girlfriend's autopsy

Jay Busbee
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Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts during a testimony at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria
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Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts during a testimony at the North Gauteng High …

Oscar Pistorius, on trial in Pretoria, South Africa for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, was overcome on Monday during testimony about Steenkamp's autopsy. Pistorius vomited during descriptions of the wounds she suffered when Pistorius shot her through a closed door on Valentine's Day 2013.

Pistorius is accused of murdering Steenkamp. He contends that he believed she was an intruder and shot through a closed bathroom door in self-defense.

The court prohibited journalists on the scene from writing or broadcasting in any detail as University of Pretoria pathologist Gert Saayman described in detail the mortal wounds Steenkamp suffered. Steenkamp was shot in the top right of her head, the right elbow, the right hip, and the webbing of her left hand.

Saayman himself had requested that the testimony be blocked from public view: "I think that it goes against the good morals of society for us to make information of this nature available in a manner that vulnerable or unsuspecting people in society may be exposed," he said.

The judge briefly halted the proceedings when Pistorius was overcome by the testimony. He sobbed and retched, but the defense did not seek an adjournment.

One question still at issue is when the fatal bullet was fired. The prosecution is arguing that the fatal shot was the final one, and that Steenkamp screamed loud enough for witnesses to hear. The defense is expected to argue that the fatal shot was the first one.

 

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