Oscar Pistorius Cries as He Apologizes to Reeva Steenkamp’s Family in First Day of Testimony — WATCH VIDEO HERE

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(Getty Images)

By Shari Weiss


(Getty Images)

Oscar Pistorius took the stand at his murder trial for the first time on Monday, breaking his 15-month silence and crying as he apologized to Reeva Steenkamp’s family for killing her.

The double-amputee track athlete — known as “Blade Runner” for his history-making success on prosthetic legs — was testifying in his own defense when he wept while specifically addressing the model’s relatives in the South African courtroom.

“I’d like to apologize and there hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family. I wake up every morning, you’re the first people I think of, the first people I pray for,” Pistorius said through tears.

He went on, “I can’t mention the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that I caused you and your family, and I was simply trying to protect Reeva.” Pistorius maintains that he shot four bullets through his bathroom door on Valentine’s Day 2013 believing an intruder had broken in.

In actuality, Steenkamp, his girlfriend of three months, was the one in the bathroom, and prosecutors say the killing was premeditated. Pistorius, who faces a minimum of 25 years in prison if convicted, cried throughout his testimony before his lawyer asked the proceedings to end early due to the paralympian’s exhaustion.

The athlete threw up several times in the courtroom earlier in the trial as he listened to testimony from others, and he is expected to be back on the witness stand for quite some time. Monday marked the first day of the defense’s presentation, after the prosecution spent three weeks trying to prove its case. The trial is expected to continue through the middle of May.

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