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Prosecutors in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial suggest text messages between the Paralympian athlete and Reeva Steenkamp revealed in court Monday show Pistorius might have had a bad temper.
Pistorius says he mistook Steenkamp, his girlfriend of three months, for an intruder when he shot her through a closed door in February 2013. But text messages, as well as testimony from a witness claiming she heard screams from a man and a woman paint a different picture. (Via ENCA)
The Independent reports Steenkamp wrote in one of the 35,000 pages of obtained messages exchanged via WhatsApp, "I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me," just three weeks before Pistorius shot and killed her.
According to CNN, the message continued, "You have picked on me incessantly," after Pistorius accused Steenkamp of flirting with other men. She added, "You do everything to throw tantrums."
The messages also indicate Pistorius often criticized her. According to ABC, Steenkamp wrote: "I get snapped at and told my accents and my voice are annoying. ... Stop chewing gum. Do this, don't do that."
As the messages were read in court, a reporter for The Guardian tweeted Pistorius was "shaking and sobbing." (Via Twitter / @SmithInAfrica)
The messages came the same day a witness testified she heard screams from a man and woman as well as gunshots the night Steenkamp was killed — suggesting Pistorius was aware he was shooting her.
"I heard a lady screaming. Terrified, terrified screaming. ... The screaming didn't stop." (Via HLN)
But the BBC reports the defense previously argued Pistorius screams like a woman, and the noise heard that night could not have come from Steenkamp.
The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case this week. Pistorius is being charged with murder and three gun-related offenses. If convicted on the murder charge, he faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.