The final moments of Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend

If only, the forensic expert said Wednesday morning, Reeva Steenkamp had fallen onto the floor after the first bullet struck, she might still be alive.

But the bullet broke her hip, and the blonde model fell onto a magazine rack. She raised her arms. But it was too late. Two of the next three bullets hit her, the last exiting her hand and hitting her in the head.

On the other side of the door, holding a handgun, was double amputee Oscar Pistorius, who once captivated international audiences with his Olympic exploits — but today is charged with a crime that could send him to prison for 25 years, Steenkamp’s murder.

His trial recessed Wednesday –until March 24 — but not before police Captain Christiaan Mangena depicted Reeva Steenkamp’s final moments in chilling detail, and it was revealed that Pistorius searched online for pornography at 6:30 p.m. the night of the killing.

On the 13th day of the Oscar Pistorius trial, a ballistics expert says Reeva Steenkamp died covering her head. (Reuters)

Still,  the trial offered several small victories for the Olympian. In a key corroboration of Pistorius’s version of events of that night, Mangena surmised Pistorius was “most likely” not wearing artificial legs when he shot through his bathroom door.

Pistorius says the night he killed his girlfriend he was awakened out from a deep sleep. He heard an intruder lurking in his bathroom, he says, and feeling vulnerable without his prosthetic limbs shot through the door. Prosecutors allege he killed his girlfriend following a Valentine’s Day argument.

Minutes before trial was adjourned, prosecutors introduced Pistorius’s Internet search history. His iPad showed he had been looking at car sales and free pornography before he shot Steenkamp.

Terrence McCoy covers poverty, inequality and social justice. He also writes about solutions to social problems.

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