PRETORIA, South Africa — Hunched over, vomiting into a bucket by his feet and retching loudly, Oscar Pistorius was vividly reminded at his murder trial Monday of the gruesome injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend when a pathologist described how the Olympian fatally shot her.
The testimony by Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp's body, was so graphic it was not broadcast or reported live on social media by journalists under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa.
Saayman listed the extent of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered on Valentine's Day last year when she was shot by the double-amputee runner in the right side of the head, the right hip and the right arm through a toilet cubicle door.
The pathologist said Steenkamp, 29, was hit by special Black Talon bullets that were designed to expand on impact and cause severe damage. He said the head shot from Pistorius' 9mm pistol was probably almost instantly fatal, causing brain damage and multiple fractures to her skull.
Bent over while sitting on a wooden bench, Pistorius vomited when Saayman reached his right hand up toward the right side of his own head to show the entrance and exit wounds in Steenkamp's skull.
Masipa briefly halted the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client.
As testimony continued, Pistorius vomited at least two other times and cried. He is charged with premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp. The prosecution contends the shooting followed a loud argument between the couple. The defense maintains that he shot her by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.