TODAY   |  April 12, 2014

‘I’m tired, very tired’: Emotional week of testimony for Oscar Pistorius

The Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius broke down several times during the prosecution's cross-examination this week. The questions drove Pistorius into misstatements, contradictions and meltdowns. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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

>>> another tough week for oscar pistorius at his murder trial in south africa . the olympic athlete broke down several times during his testimony as the prosecution asked him what happened the night he shot and killed his girlfrie girlfriend, reeva steenkamp.

>> reporter: another difficult week of testimony by oscar pistorius .

>> he was standing right in front of the door talking to you when you shot her.

>> reporter: the paralympian has been telling his story under oath but not on camera and startd with an emotional apology to the family of reeva steenkamp.

>> i can't imagine the sorrow that i've caused you and your family.

>> reporter: two days of detailing his version of the story under the gentle questioning of his attorney, the account of his discovery that he shot not at an intruder but his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp, was agonizing. prosecutor was rough housed from the start.

>> you killed her. you shot and killed her. won't you take responsibility for that?

>> i did, my lady.

>> then say you did. say yes. i killed -- i shot and killed reeva steenkamp.

>> reporter: now used the words between pistorius and steenkamp to paint the olympian as a hot head reckless with guns. the barrage of questions drove him into misstatements, contradictions and meltdowns leading to several delays.

>> the person that i cared about. i don't know how people don't understand that.

>> reporter: after another imprecise answer, pistorius was forced to correct, he complained, i'm tired. very tired. that's not going to change. the judge told him it would have to. the consensus among legal experts, pistorius is struggling.

>> there are differences between what he said in his bail affidavit early on and what he's saying while testifying in court.

>> reporter: outside court friday, a weary pistorius was handed a flower bouquet by a woman who told us she's still a fan, still a believer. one bright note for a defendant in a brutally tough week.