TODAY   |  April 06, 2014

Oscar Pistorius set to testify in his own defense

Oscar Pistorius is scheduled to take the stand as early as Monday and will try to convince the court he shot his girlfriend to death by accident. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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

>> week delay, the oscar pistorius murder trial is set to resume. he could take the stand as early as tomorrow. he will try to convince the court it was an accident when he shot his girlfriend reeva steenkamp to death. the case has captured global attention and captivated south africa .

>> reporter: the double amputee para olympian has already admitted he fired the four shots through a locked bathroom girl that killed girlfriend reeva steenkamp at 3:00 in the morning on valentine's day last year. he said it was an accident, he thought he was shooting an intruder. four prosecution witnesses say they heard a heated argument between a man and woman before those shots rang out.

>> after the first shots there was a female screaming for quite a period. just before the second fatal shot there was a male voice in between that you could definitely hear, two different voices and then the shots and then quiet.

>> reporter: it's not a who done it. it's a why he did it it came from riva's cell phone.

>> in four emotional messages, steenkamp complained about her boyfriend's jealousy, public tantrums and constant criticisms.

>> i'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of how you act to me. i just want to love and be loved. be happy and make someone so happy. maybe we can't do that to each other. right now i know you're not happy and i'm certainly very unhappy and sad.

>> reporter: pistorius is expected to testify, audio only and not on camera as is his right. the defense will say the vast majority of his defense exchanges with steenkamp describe a relationship that was happy and loving right up to what his lawyer called the unfortunate date.

>> incoming message that the deceased received, can't wait to see you, you would like me to pick you up? then outgoing response, i really can't wait to see you, boo. and another one from the diseasesed, i would love that, angel.

>> reporter: reeva steenkamp can't speak anymore, but oscar pistorius can. it'ses his likely testimony that could determine whether he walks three or spends at least the next 25 years in prison. for today, mike taibbi , nbc news, pretoria, south africa .