TODAY   |  March 08, 2014

Witness says Oscar Pistorius kept a gun ‘all the time’

The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius involved some dramatic testimony from those who knew him, including his ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor, who said Pistorius kept a gun on him “all the time.” NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to the latest on the oscar pistorius murder trial. the first week wrapped up on friday with some dramatic testimony from pistorius 's ex-girlfriend. e ayman mohyeldin has been in the courtroom all week.

>> reporter: good morning, lester . it is being called the trial of the century for a reason, really gripping south africa . all week long, we've heard the prosecution introduce witness after witness to try to make the case that oscar pistorius did not accidentally shoot and kill his girlfriend, but rather, shot her with the intent to kill her. on trial for murder, oscar pistorius 's case is being watched all around the world, as the prosecution paints a grim picture of the one-time olympic hero. on friday, his ex-girlfriend, samantha taylor , was in court.

>> did you know that he owned a gun during his relationship?

>> yes, my lady. he kept it on him all the time, my lady.

>> reporter: a picture of pistorius as trigger-happy, temperamental, prone to anger.

>> you said that oscar screamed at you.

>> yes.

>> was it one occasion or more?

>> on more occasions, my lady.

>> reporter: an emotional pistorius was seen gagging at one point during testimony from neighbor, dr. johan stiff, who said he saw reeva had been mortally wounded, shot in the leg, arm and head.

>> she had no pulse in her neck. she had no peripheral pulse. she had no breathing movements that she made.

>> reporter: stitt also saw pistorius hunched over her body, screaming.

>> he said, "i shot her. i thought she was a burglar and i shot her."

>> reporter: from an ex-girlfriend to a training partner --

>> i saw them in the restaurant --

>> reporter: witnesses the prosecution say establish a pattern of lies and deception.

>> i remember, he said, please, take the blame for me. there's too much media hype around me.

>> reporter: and then, an emotional revelation by the woman who says she once loved oscar. taylor was asked how her relationship with pistorius ended.

>> he cheated on me with reeva steenkamp.

>> reporter: at one point, she broke down in tears.

>> just take your time, please.

>> reporter: a dramatic first week in the trial of south africa 's golden boy , a case that will continue for quite some time. now, this first week was all based on people who were either neighbors and those that knew oscar pistorius . the prosecution is trying to establish a timeline of events, but more importantly, next week there is the chance that the prosecution is going to introduce that very powerful testimony based on evidence and forensics from inside that shooting scene. lester ?

>> all right, ayman mohyeldin, thanks. lisa bloom is "today's" legal analyst. lisa, good morning. good to have you on.

>> good morning, lester .

>> let's talk first about the testimony of the girlfriend, who claims pistorius had a temper, he always carried a gun, but she also testified they broke up because he was unfaithful. does that undermine her credibility or did she score some points for the prosecution?

>> well, i think it's a small hit against her credibility, but are we really to believe that she's lying in his murder trial because he left her for another woman some time ago? i mean, i think the import of her testimony is that this is a man who was irresponsible with guns, although he didn't threaten her with the gun. he did shoot off a gun in a car when he was unhappy about a traffic stop. that certainly makes him look like an irresponsible gun owner.

>> all right, so, the security guard says he gets reports from neighbors that shots are fired, he talks to pistorius , who says everything's fine. security guard goes over to the house and realized everything is not fine. that seems very troubling.

>> yeah, i think that's big. you've just shot your girlfriend accidentally, according to oscar pistorius . the first person you talk to, the security guard , you say everything is fine? you would expect somebody in that situation to say, oh, my god, there's been a terrible accident, please help me.

>> pistorius has been very emotional in this trial, holding his hands, you know, reacting to testimony. if this were in front of a jury, one might ask the question, could this have a favorable effect for the defense, but this is in front of only a judge. so, how do you read that?

>> that would definitely be more helpful in front of a jury. look, judges have seen it all. they've seen people cry, have angry outbursts, you know, use profanity, go running out of the courtroom. i mean, this is what happens in courtrooms in the united states and in south africa and everywhere else. so, i don't think the emotion will have a big impact on the judge.

>> looking ahead for next week, the focus is going to be on forensics. they're going to be looking at pistorius 's texts, his whatsapp messages. what do you think they'll be looking for there?

>> well, we certainly want to know what he was saying on the day leading up to this incident. was he angry? was he having a fight with reeva steenkamp or was everything okay? and the other forensics that are important is whether he was on his stumps or whether he had his prosthetic legs on at the time of the shooting. he says it was the former. that would make him smaller, that would make the bullet holes lower in the door and the trajectory going up. so, i think the state should be able to establish which of those it was.

>> lastly, let me ask you this. the testimony of him, you know, firing off guns before, always having a gun with him, could that in some way play to his defense, that yeah, this was a guy who was willing to, you know, to maybe shoot first and think later, and maybe did think there was an intruder and fires off the gun?

>> you know, i think that's a reasonable argument the defense can make. we don't have any evidence in this trial of him threatening anyone with the gun, pointing a gun, using it in anger, using it in a fight. that's what he's accused of doing here.

>> all right, lisa bloom , good