Speed Reads

on the case

Tearful Oscar Pistorius takes stand: 'I'm scared to sleep'

Getty Images/Pool

After a week break, the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius resumed today with the disgraced former Olympian taking the witness stand and speaking out for the first time since last year's shooting. He apologized to Reeva Steenkamp's family for the "pain, sorrow, and emptiness" he caused them and reiterated his defense that he accidentally shot Steenkamp, his girlfriend and popular South African model, after mistaking her for an intruder.

"I wake up every morning and you're the first people I think of, the first people I pray for," said Pistorius in a trembling voice. "I can't imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that I've caused you and your family." The double-amputee faces life in prison if convicted of murder. He told the court that he had been on anti-depressants and sleeping pills that caused him to be in a disturbed state of mind.

"I'm scared to sleep," he said, according to Reuters. "I have terrible nightmares about things that happened that night," he said. "I can smell blood. I wake up to being terrified." Reeva's mother, June Steenkamp, looked impassive and steely faced while he was talking.

The trial continues later today.