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Prosecutor says Pistorius shot Steenkamp after argument

Pretoria, South Africa ( - Oscar Pistorius shot at girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after the two had argued, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Friday as the murder trial for the South African sprinter concluded for the week.

Nel's three-day cross-examination of Pistorius included the prosecution's assertion that the defendant could not have heard Steenkamp scream during the shooting as the Olympian has previously declared.

Steenkamp was killed by Pistorius on Feb. 14, 2013 in the bathroom of his home. He has maintained the shooting was an accident, believing he fired four shots into the bathroom at an intruder. The prosecution has countered that he knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom in a premeditated murder.

Pistorius previously claimed Steenkamp did not scream during the shooting, but witnesses have testified they heard screams from a woman as shots rang out.

Nel asked Pistorius if Steenkamp screamed after the first shot was fired.

Pistorius responded no, but when pressed again by Nel said, "I don't think I would have heard her. A gunshot went off, my ears were ringing."

Nel followed by asking Pistorius how he could say she wasn't screaming if he couldn't hear.

"If I couldn't hear it then I couldn't hear it," he responded.

Nel again declared Pistorius had previously said she never screamed, trying to prove inconsistencies in the runner's account.

The prosecutor later stated Pistorius and Steenkamp had argued and she fled to the bathroom before he started shooting.

"She was standing behind the toilet door talking to you when you shot her," Nel said.

Pistorius again said it wasn't true.

Court was soon after adjourned until Monday.

The trial, which began on March 3, is being broadcast throughout South Africa and other parts of the world.

Pistorius has not been shown as he testifies. Only the audio portion of his statements are audible as the cameras take shots of the judge, attorneys and court room.

Judge Thokozile Masipa will decide guilt or innocence in the case, as South Africa does not have trial by jury.

In addition to the murder charge, Pistorius also faces charges of contravening South Africa's Firearms Control Act.

The murder charge could carry a sentence of life in prison. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

Steenkamp, who was 29 years old, was a model and reality television star in South Africa.

Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner," made history at the London Olympics in 2012 when he became the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Games. He had both legs amputated before he was a year old after being born without fibula bones and runs on prosthetic blades.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had initially said that his prosthetics were considered technical aids and in violation of an IAAF rule. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport later overturned that decision, making him eligible to compete against able-bodied runners.

Pistorius qualified for South Africa's Olympic team in 2012 and competed in the 400-meter race, reaching the semifinals, and the 1,600-meter relay.

04/11 09:58:44 ET