was the target of relentless and combative questioning Wednesday as the prosecutor in his murder trial tried to
rattle the runner about the night he shot dead his model girlfriend.Vowing to "
get to the truth" of the events that took place on Valentine's Day last year, prosecutor Gerrie Nel began a blistering cross-examination of the Olympic sprinter in the case that has gripped South Africa."
You shot and killed her. Say it -- 'I shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp,'"
Nel told Pistorius.The prosecutor immediately boxed the double-amputee athlete into a corner in what his defense team described as an "ambush,"
by asking him about a video showing Pistorius shooting a watermelon at a gun range.No one disputes that Pistorius killed Steenkamp.
But the prosecution is trying to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did so knowingly and intentionally.
The 27-year old has admitted to the killing but said he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder in the bathroom when he
fired through the door and killed her.Before Nel went after Pistorius,
Barry Roux -- the runner's defense lawyer -- had tossed his client a question to drive that argument home. He asked Pistorius if he had intentionally killed Steenkamp."
I did not intend to kill Reeva or anybody else for that matter,"
Pistorius replied.Later in the proceedings, as Nel probed him further,
Pistorius insisted he thought he would be attacked when he heard noise coming from his bathroom that night."I had a fear, I didn't have time to think,
I discharged my firearm ... I didn't intend to shoot at anyone, I shot out of fear."Court was adjourned for the day following that testimony.'Zombie stopper'Minutes after starting his cross-examination,
Nel took the defense team by surprise
when he asked theathlete about a shooting range video in which Pistorius is seen firing at a watermelon,
and then calling the impact "a zombie-stopper."This prompted the defense to complain that the prosecution was staging an "
ambush" by introducing evidence. The court was briefly adjourned as Judge Thokozile Masipa considered both positions.
The defense later said it would not object to the video being shown in court."
It makes me very upset to hear myself saying something like that,"
Pistorius said as he admitted to making the comment.
But he insisted he was referring "to a zombie, not a human being."
Nel showed the court a graphic photo of Steenkamp's wounded head.
Speaking of the watermelon in the video, the prosecutor said: "It exploded.
You know the same happened to Reeva?"
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