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Neighbor: Pistorius was 'broken,' pleading with God

NEED TO KNOW
  • Neighbors get emotional on the stand when describing Pistorius' desperation the night he killed Reeva Steenkamp
  • Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder
Neighbor: Pistorius was 'broken,' pleading with God

Two neighbors who were the first to arrive at Oscar Pistorius' home on the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, got emotional on the stand Monday as they described how the double-amputee Olympic sprinter begged God to spare her life.

"He was broken. He was screaming, he was crying, he was praying," Johann Stander testified.

His daughter, Carice Stander Viljoen, testified that she feared Pistorius might take his own life that night.

READ MORE: Get caught up on the Oscar Pistorius trial

"I thought he was going to go and possibly shoot himself," she testified, describing how she ran upstairs to check on him when he went to retrieve Steenkamp's handbag.

Monday marked the first day back after a two-week delay, which was due to scheduling conflicts. Get caught up on day 26 of Pistorius' murder trial through short Instagram videos and tweets:

Pistorius arrives at the courthouse Monday:

Stander was the first witness called to the stand Monday. He said he lived about 350-400 meters from Pistorius' home. He met Pistorius when the Olympian helped him move furniture and he would also watch Pistorius' dog on occasion.

Stander seemed to get emotional several times as he discussed the events of February 14, 2013. When Pistorius called him early that morning, he told him, "Please, please, come to my house. I shot Reeva. I thought she was an intruder, please come quick."

“He was broken. He was screaming, he was crying, he was praying,” Stander said of Pistorius.

Stander said the events he witnessed that night are not something he wants to ever experience again. He described Pistorius as "torn apart, broken, desperate, pleading." He also said it was "difficult to describe" Pistorius' "commitment to save the young lady’s life" that night:

To give you an idea of where Stander's home is in relation to Pistorius' home:

The defense then called Stander's daughter, Carice Stander Viljoen, to the witness stand. She testified that she heard someone screaming for help that night and that she closed her balcony's sliding door because she was afraid.

When her father told her that Pistorius had called, she drove them both over to his house. Pistorius was carrying Steenkamp down the stairs when she walked in the door.

Viljoen became very emotional when describing what happened next: That Pistorius begged her to take Steenkamp to the hospital. The judge encouraged Viljoen to take a short break.

 

 

 

 

Pistorius put his head in his hands as Viljoen described fearing he might take his own life when he went upstairs to grab Steenkamp's bag:

Court adjourned early after the defense informed the judge that they had no more witnesses for the day.

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