Pistorius cross-examination ends
Pretoria, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Oscar Pistorius exited the witness stand on Tuesday after five exhausting days of cross-examination from prosecutor Gerrie Nel in the South African sprinter's trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
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 was firing into the bathroom at an intruder. The prosecution has countered that he knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom in a premeditated murder.
"She was locked into the bathroom and you armed yourself with the sole purpose of shooting and killing her. That is what you did," said Nel on Tuesday.
Nel has stated the prosecution believes Pistorius and Steenkamp had an argument and she ran to the bathroom before the Olympian fired four shots through the locked door.
Pistorius again claimed Tuesday that he thought his life was in danger from an intruder when he fired his gun.
"I believed that there was a threat on my life," Pistorius said.
The defense then continued its case with expert witnesses on Tuesday afternoon.
Judge Thokozile Masipa will decide guilt or innocence in the trial, which began March 3 and is being broadcast throughout South Africa and other parts of the world. 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.
04/15 10:06:29 ET