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Witness describes hearing screaming and then gunshots

Monday - 3/3/2014, 10:40am  ET

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- A neighbor of Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius (pihs-TOHR'-ee-uhs) says she heard a woman's "blood-curdling" screams before the sound of four gunshots on the night Pistorius killed his girlfriend.

The neighbor was the first witness to testify at Pistorius' murder trial that began today in Pretoria, South Africa.

Her testimony contradicts Pistorus' version of events -- because he has said he thought his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was in bed at the time of the shooting, and he did not describe any woman screaming.

The double-amputee track star says he accidentally killed Steenkamp thinking she was someone who broke into his home. Prosecutors believe Pistorius shot and killed her during a fight on Valentine's Day 2013.

Among those in court today was the victim's mother, who says she was there to "really look him in the eyes."

%@AP Links

138-c-08-(Gerald Imray (IHM'-ray), AP correspondent)-"for his life"-AP correspondent Gerald Imray reports that Oscar Pistorius says he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by accident. (3 Mar 2014)

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137-c-15-(Gerald Imray (IHM'-ray), AP correspondent)-"a public place"-AP correspondent Gerald Imray reports that double-amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius has pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. (3 Mar 2014)

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APPHOTO XDF114: Oscar Pistorius smiles in court during his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder with premeditation in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013. (AP Photo/Herman Verwey Media24-Pool) (3 Mar 2014)

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