Friend testifies Oscar Pistorius fired gun in restaurant

PRETORIA, South Africa - Once the darling of the media, track star and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius now runs a gantlet of reporters to get inside the courtroom each day.

He's charged with the premeditated murder of his glamorous girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius, who became famous for running on carbon-fiber blades after losing both legs as a child, maintains he had no intention of killing Steenkamp and that he mistook her for a burglar.

The prosecution is trying to paint a picture of a violent, gun-obsessed man given to explosive fits of rage.

Professional boxer Kevin Lerena testified that Oscar Pistorius accidentally fired a gun in a restaurant and asked a friend to take the blame.
CBS News
Pistorius' friend professional boxer Kevin Lerena told CBS News that Pistorius was passionate about his gun collection.

Lerena testified he met a group of friends - including the track star - in a packed restaurant when Pistorius accidentally fired a pistol under the table.

Lerena said he was shocked. "The bullet never hit my foot, thank God, but the shrapnel caught me. I was a bit cut."

Lerena told the court Pistorius asked another friend to take the blame for firing the gun.

"I do remember Oscar saying, 'Please. Please, Darren, please just say it was you, I don't want any attention around me, just say it was you.'"

The defense argues that Pistorius kept guns for his own protection. Defense attorneys say he and Steenkamp were in a loving relationship. Security camera pictures taken 10 days before the killing apparently show a happy and affectionate couple.

A total of 107 witnesses will be called by the prosecution. Among them will be neighbors, ex-girlfriends, forensic experts and police detectives.

The trial is expected to last several months.


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