TODAY   |  March 12, 2014

Cricket bat, door shown in Pistorius trial

At Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial in South Africa, evidence included the cricket bat Pistorius used to break down the door of the bathroom where he shot Reeva Steenkamp, as well as the door itself. NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen reports.

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>>> "can't wait to get back to work."

>>> we begin this half hour with important evidence presented in court today at the murder trial of oscar pistorius . jeff rossen has been covering the case for us and is at the courthouse again in pretoria. jeff, good morning.

>> reporter: hey, savannah, good morning to you. prosecutors diving right in today and they actually brought visuals for the judge, including the actual cricket bat oscar used to hit the door after the shooting, a cricket bat just like this that they bought this morning at a sporting goods store. they are going over every single detail, did he tuesday like this? did he hit the door like this? where were the angles on the zmoor was he on a stump or his prosthetic? the forensic scientist who analyzed the scene on the stand, reenacting it all. after crying in court this week, oscar pistorius was, at times, laughing in his seat this morning. and today, prosecutors pulled out a prop. this is the actual door from his bathroom. oscar fired four bullets into it before bashing it with a cricket bat .

>> a physical match with the door in this position, which indicated to me that the person hitting the door, that could be -- that could be somewhere around here.

>> reporter: on the other side of that door, oscar 's girlfriend, riva steenkamp, shot and killed. in this new evidence photo, you can see damage to the steel plate next to the toilet.

>> the marks on the door is actually consistent with him not having his legs on.

>> reporter: the forensic expert then got on his knees, showing how he believes oscar did it without his legs but oscar says after the shooting, he did put his legs on to break the door down. oscar 's defense lawyer calling the expert back to the door to prove it's possible.

>> does it match?

>> yes.

>> reporter: here comes oscar right now. he sits in court every day listening to the accusations against him but now it appears he will likely appear on the stand in his own defense. oscar , any idea when you're going to take the stand? anything you want to say? a media crush as oscar is hustled into a waiting suv. do you think it's smart that oscar takes the stand?

>> he has to take the stand. he really has no option. he needs to show what he was thinking at that exact time, why he was thinking it, what was going through his mind and only he can do that. so he needs to get into the box.

>> reporter: in this official statement to the court, oscar calls it tragic accident. we were in a loving relationship, and this, i will have an opportunity to deal with a comprehensive version of the events when i testify. the whole cross-examination be very difficult?

>> cross-examination will be brutal. i would imagine they keep him in the stand for a long time. i would imagine that he will get emotional but you know, only he can tell his story, he really needs to pull it together and get in that box.

>> reporter: one other interesting note from the courtroom today. here in south africa , trials are slated to last three weeks, three-week chunks f they have to go longer, both sides sometimes have to wait five, six months to get back on the cortical help dar, but the judge's clerk now tells nbc news they will likely make an exception here because of all the recording equipment and the coverage and let it go and go and go until it's finally over. legal experts say, savannah, at this rate, it could last five weeks or more.

>> to say nothing of the security they have to have around the courthouse to handle that trial. jeff, thank you