Share story

Murder trial

Pistorius breaks down again while testifying about girlfriend

A subdued Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday described dinner at home, chatting and looking at cellphone photos with Reeva Steenkamp on the last night of her life. Then he erupted in anguished howls and heaving sobs while testifying at his murder trial about the moments when he says he realized he shot his girlfriend through a closed toilet door.

The shocking spectacle of what appeared to be a tormented man highlighted the drama of Pistorius’ inspirational rise and sudden fall. The South African double-amputee runner captured the world’s attention when he successfully fought for permission to run in the 2012 Olympics on his carbon-fiber prostheses. The very next year, he was facing charges for killing the woman he said he loved.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

The court in Pretoria, the South African capital, adjourned because of the star athlete’s breakdown, ending a day in which Pistorius spoke of the loving aspects of his relationship with Steenkamp in testimony designed to counter a prosecution picture of him as temperamental and overbearing, and then outlined his version of the final hours before the shooting.

“I sat over Reeva and I cried,” Pistorius said, telling how he broke open the stall door in his bathroom in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013, to discover his bloodied girlfriend slumped in the cubicle. “I don’t know how long I was there for.”

Pistorius has said in statements that he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder in his bathroom. Tuesday marked the first time he has spoken publicly about the details of the fatal shooting. Prosecutors call Pistorius’ story an intricate lie and maintain he intentionally killed his 29-year-old girlfriend, a model and reality TV show star, after an argument.


The Atlanta Falcons added two potential starters to their secondary by signing cornerback Josh Wilson and safety Dwight Lowery.

Wilson, a second-round pick by Seattle in 2006, has started 81 of his 102 career games with the Seahawks, Baltimore and Washington. He started all 16 games with the Redskins last season and set a career high with 93 tackles. He has 14 career interceptions, including one last season.

In other signings, free-agent defensive tackle Colin Cole will remain with the Carolina Panthers after agreeing to a one-year contract, the Minnesota Vikings signed former Texans receiver Lestar Jean, and defensive lineman Jarius Wynn signed with the Buffalo Bills. Also, the Chicago Bears claimed wide receiver Josh Bellamy off waivers from Washington and signed free-agent tight end Matthew Mulligan to a one-year deal.

Redskin lineman suspended

Defensive lineman Brandon Moore of the Washington Redskins has been suspended for the first four games next season by the NFL for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

College basketball

Rumors swirl around Calipari

Kentucky coach John Calipari is used to inquiries, but former Kentucky player Rex Chapman turned up the heat Monday by tweeting that Calipari coaching the Los Angeles Lakers was a “done deal.”

While Calipari said later that he was happy with the Wildcats and planned to be back at Kentucky, he didn’t completely dismiss the scenario.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Kentucky (29-11) loses forward Julius Randle. Several of his young teammates also are going to mull over their pro prospects.

But the tweet by Chapman, a former Wildcat, shifted some of the scrutiny toward Calipari, whose name frequently pops up about NBA jobs. He has laughed off many of them, but the newest seemed to strike a nerve.

Oregon point guard Joseph Young said he’s returning to the Ducks for his senior season. The 6-foot-2 Young was the leading scorer (18.9 ppg) this past season for the Ducks, who advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.


Chelsea, Real Madrid to semis

Host Chelsea beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0, tied 3-3 in the total-goals series and advanced to the Champions League semifinals on away goals. The Blues lost 3-1 last week in the French capital.

Chelsea, the 2012 champion, reached the semifinals for the seventh time in 11 years.

Real Madrid reached the semifinals for the fourth consecutive season with a 3-2 aggregate win after a 2-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund.

Major League Soccer is closing in on a deal with Falcons owner Arthur Blank to bring an expansion franchise to Atlanta’s new downtown stadium. The team would likely begin play in 2017, when the $1 billion retractable-roof stadium is set to open next to the Georgia Dome to provide a new home for the NFL Falcons.


• The agent for five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe said the 31-year-old will never swim competitively again after contracting two potentially serious infections while undergoing shoulder surgery in Sydney.

• North Carolina State sophomore T.J. Warren said he is taking his high-scoring game to the NBA. The 6-foot-8 forward led the ACC, averaging 24.9 points.

Royce Waltman, an assistant to Bob Knight at Indiana and a longtime basketball coach around the Hoosier state, died Monday night after battling a long illness. He was 72.

• Jamaican Olympic sprinter Sherone Simpson was banned from her sport until Dec. 20 after testing positive for a banned substance.

Seattle Times news services

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.