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Pistorius apologizes at his murder trial

Monday - 4/7/2014, 2:39pm  ET

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- Oscar Pistorius says he sometimes wakes up from nightmares to the "smell of blood."

The South African track star took the witness stand today at his murder trial and apologized to the family of the girlfriend he shot and killed last year. He said they are the first people he thinks of every morning.

Amid sobs, Pistorius described himself as traumatized in the aftermath of the shooting. He says he was simply trying to protect Reeva Steenkamp when he fired through a bathroom door at a person he thought was an intruder.

Prosecutors say he deliberately shot her after an argument. They are trying to portray Pistorius as a hothead with an inflated sense of entitlement and an obsession with firearms.

Defense lawyers are trying to counter that. In testimony today, Pistorius described some of the hardshpis he faced after having his lower legs amputated as a baby. He also spoke about the sacrifices he had made for his athletic achievements, and about his work with charity.

%@AP Links

160-a-14-(Oscar Pistorius, Olympic athlete, in courtroom testimony)-"pray about everything"-Oscar Pistorius, testifying at his murder trial, says meeting Reeva Steenkamp was a blessing from God. (7 Apr 2014)

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162-a-06-(Oscar Pistorius, Olympic athlete, in courtroom testimony)-"to think about"-Oscar Pistorius, testifying at his murder trial, says he feels exhausted. (7 Apr 2014)

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APPHOTO XDF119: Oscar Pistorius gestures as he listens to evidence by a pathologist in court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, April 7, 2014. Pistorius is charged with murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentines Day 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool) (7 Apr 2014)

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